The Bound Bird

They put her in a little brass cage

Quite ornate really as cages go

With filigree edges

And a silver rose door.

And everyone put their faces up against the bars

And wriggled their fingers,

Inviting her to come to them.


They brought her exotic seeds

From far castaway islands,

Cleaned her cage with scented oils

For healing and soothing.

Put pearls of amethyst beneath her quivering wings

And diamond traces underneath her fragile feet.

They whispered silly things to her,

Made confessions

And private affectionate messages from the heart.


And she stood in the musty hallway

Her cage placed upon the dresser

And she cried bitter inward tears

That only another captive bird

Could understand or hear.

She was a show piece.

They had tricked her with the diamond traces,

Dazzled her mind with the pearly ice blue seed,

Now she was a prisoner

And they would never set her free.


One day they tested her,

They left the cage door open just a little bit

And she sat there for hours

Debating what to do.

She could have flown

But where to?

She had once been the beauty of the skies

A rainbow bird reflected in a raven's eyes

But now she was neither bird nor human.

She sang her trill little song all day

And fluttered her wings

And dreamed of flying away.

They said she was happy,

Thankful to be kept that way

Or she would have flown long ago . . . .


Only a little child

Peeping through the bars of the cage one day,

Said, that bird is so sad,

She's withering away . . . .

🌷 (6)

◄ City Encounter

The Unknown Soldier ►


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Frances Macaulay Forde

Fri 5th Jan 2018 04:18

I want to buy the book of these poems, please!

I want to hold them in my hand, so I can turn the pages , touch the words and absorb some of your exceptional talent for converting your sensitivity to the world and those around you, into wonderful words.

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Hannah Collins

Fri 3rd Nov 2017 17:51

Thank you to everyone who has commented on this poem.
Truly appreciated.


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Sun 29th Oct 2017 09:21

Hi Hannah
Really insightful and moving poem.' They said she was happy, thankful to be kept that way, or she would have flown long ago'.

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Laura Taylor

Fri 27th Oct 2017 12:28

Some amazing imagery in here and a lovely play on the caged bird idea.

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Graham Sherwood

Fri 27th Oct 2017 09:37

A wonderful allegory of what keeps us where we are. Is it fear, custom, ritual, safety, the known, whatever the factor we are often bound to it.

The interesting thing is when we are forced to change!

Thought provoking work Hannah.

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mike booth

Fri 27th Oct 2017 08:09

Hi Hannah,

Put pearls of amethyst beneath her quivering wings

And diamond traces underneath her fragile feet.

this is so beautiful, moving and sensitively written... really love the ideas and the expression of them, with its attention to small detail and its heart.

great poem!

M x

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Thu 26th Oct 2017 23:04

Tragic piece. Excellent though.

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Thu 26th Oct 2017 21:33

This feels like a fairy story in the telling Hannah, and as such seems to guide us to metaphors of the human condition, such as being institutionalised( a common enough experience.) Pets seem to serve their masters even to the point of it all being pointless. So many variations I could go on with, which means I love the poem and your enquiring and persuasive mind at play.


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