A Caged Bird (Poem)

{I see myself, but it doesn’t look like me,

I see myself – but what should I be?

Yes, what should I be? And what should I become?

Be a dreamer – or achiever – you can only pick one.}

Ohhh, you want the bullet train to fame my boy?”

No, no, no! Just the mega bus away from plain and tame, would be a joy!

Well fucking stop that thought.”

Nothing good happens here.”

Oh, you’re into the arts? HA, HA, HA, must be a queer!”

Fuck off to London if that’s what you want – but know this,

we all think you’re an absolute cunt.”

{I want to think outside the box,

but I don’t have the keys to this cage,

I try every possibility in the locks,

that get rusty with age.}

HA! You don’t know about life! We struggle and strive, 9 to 5 that we hate, but we can barely survive, we buy things that we don’t want with credit we can’t pay, we turn on the television – it’s shit – but we watch anyway, we can’t wait for retirement, man that’ll be the day! We‘ll get to sit on our arse till we’re dead – ahh, bliss, don’t ya say?”

{I can see this for myself, but it doesn’t look like me,

I can see this for myself, but it’s something I don’t want to be.

Yes, there’s what I should be, and what I want to become,

I don’t want to cut my roots…I just want to grow: till my days are done.}




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64 Replies to “A Caged Bird (Poem)”

      1. I’m no poet, either — but I know when words and emotions are put together in such a way that they greatly affect the reader regardless of the form they are packaged within!! 😉 Welcome home, even though if you have a restless spirit like mine, you are more at home when away.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s lovely to know that someone else understands the same feeling – it’s strange isn’t it? But I suppose that is just the way it is, until you find comfort or a balance.

        Thank you for your kind words, they mean a lot!!


  1. Impressive! You are quite the storyteller, but also a very good poet 🙂 enjoyed reading this. It can be frustrating having people tell you how you should live your life, no matter how good their intentions are.


  2. You say you aren’t a poet but I think you have a poet’s soul… I felt a visceral emotional response when I read your words. What IS poetry, anyway? Nice neat little sentences that all line up and rhyme with each other? I know a few dirty limericks that do that. I think of poetry as a way of using words as brush strokes; sometimes the strokes are neat and even, sometimes they’re a bit rougher, sometimes they’re just blobs with no real shape at all. But if the artist is good, when you stand back and look at their work you can feel what they were feeling when they did it. And that’s what I got when I read your poem.
    Do more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for this beautiful response Michelle, I think it is clear for all to see that you certainly have a soothing character with your words ~ this poem was very raw and simply an outpouring of how I felt going back to my hometown after a long time away, so it is a little brutal and jagged in parts. I’m pleased you enjoyed it. Thanks again, you’re a wonderful person.


  3. I’m not good with poetry but I’ve read this four times now, and the future you don’t want seems bleak and scary and sad. I’m trying to see some hope in the last two lines. You’ll still be you in your future.


      1. “Most of my own attempts aren’t up to much.” Wrong! You made me think, you made me feel. That’s the whole point, isn’t it?


  4. Very, very, very goo!!! It is so close to life and goes straight to the heart – the struggle between living our life and fitting into the society we are used to. You discribe this fight so good and the yearning of being who you are! Great poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Untrammeled heights of passion is what keeps us going in this life and it is same as going through passages of confusion. But regardless of the number of choices we are caught in between.sometimes, we will eventually end with one of those choices.


      1. hahaha!!! You are still way way better than me John, english is not my native tongue and I still use ginger app and online dictionaries lol.

        Since I started reading your stories, jesus I experience nose-bleed! Because of your grandiloquent words 🙂


      2. Oh dear, oh dear! Well lots of my stories have made up words and sound effects in them, haha…so may be even harder! A Korean friend of mine messaged me recently saying she enjoys them but “can only understand 30%” ooops!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this!!! Brilliant and wonderful 🙂 I am getting lots of inspiration in the land of the bloggers, first to show my artwork…now I want to share writings!! Don’t think that any of them would be as brilliant as this however 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Awesome work, mixing humor and philosophy like that. I laughed out loud while reading, but I have felt similar frustrations in life. Your work is worth something, keep it up, my friend.


  8. I am so scared I won’t archieve anything in my life. I am so scared of the future, of time. It reminds me of this poem called I Was Dying. I think you’ll love it! You can read it here: http://www.beudeeful.com/2014/10/i-was-dying-submitted-by-nicole-zablocki.html
    I started to write my own posts in a poetic way, even though they don’t rhyme haha! Just like you I tried something different and I found that I could express myslef better in less words. I like the post by the way!


  9. Hi John,
    Just googled ‘blogs that will make you laugh.’ Yours came up top of the list, so here I sit, wowed by your poem.

    It really does make the reader feel the angst and struggle to stay true to one’s self.

    After reading a couple of your other posts, might I remind you (and myself) of the wisdom of your parents when you were in Atlanta, barely eating, and wrote home to them? “You’ll figure it out.” (And so will I, and the so will the rest of us.) The lock will give, and the door will open. Even if we have to ‘push it’ a little.

    Your poem spoke to me of the doubts, self inflicted, and inflicted by the jealousy of others you mentioned, but also the general doubts ‘the way of the world’ places on us.
    It also raised my battle flag, igniting a reaffirmation that I will not sit quietly on that couch!
    (I stopped watching television five years ago and have only missed the history and travel channel.)

    Truly, a beautiful poem that speaks to me about staring down those darn little doubts so we can actually LIVE life. So, thank you.

    “But one creature said at last, “I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom.” ~ RICHARD BACH, ILLUSIONS



  10. Pleasure to meet you as well, John. Really enjoy reading your posts. I’ve read Illusions probably four or five times over the past fifteen years. It’s a bit of a ‘reset’ button for me at times. Glad you enjoyed the quote and I look forward to following along!


  11. Brilliantly worded!
    Your take on your caged bird is fantastic, albeit a little different from mine. Bravo, nonetheless!

    From a caged bird who happens to be trying so damn hard to break free from the shackles!


  12. John you may not remember but I said something about your ma loving the beef/being an industrialist one time….Im soooory! It was because you had liked a couple of my posts but I realised you hadnt seen them and I got huffy. (btw please dont take this as your cue to start reading and leaving comments on my blog- I think you might do that because youre a great guy, but it would be really embarrassing for us both!) Anyway just wanted to clarify cos I like you stuff, lol fairly frequently, but I feel like you might have been as another representative ill-will in this poem and it wasnt 100% like that!


  13. Okay, now I think of you even more highly. Keep striving for the life you want (and voiding the life you don’t) regardless of what others do. Great poem John! And never let anyone call you a cunt!

    Liked by 1 person

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