Confined Beauty

There are birds of prey
caged in the park
where after train rides
kids sought a sojourn in the tiny zoo
to commune with with goats and deer

And all kinds of birds: peafowl,
a dozen chickens and roosters,
barn owls, red-tailed hawks,
even two haggard bald eagles
separately enclosed

Talking with little ones
about raptors and hunting and flight
and injury requiring rehabilitation
hence the tags
and chain link fences

Several times we saw a wild hawk
scoping chipmunks
high above the hawk cage
in a cruel display
of freedom

We walked with toddlers
who were learning
about their space in the world
while peacocks
strutted their opulent plumage
in confinement

NaPoWriMo Day 24! 
Responding to Margaret’s prompt in the Imaginary Garden: BEAUTY

Also, it is the birthday of the Runaway Sentence! This girl turns seven today! Thank you, friends, for all these years of scribbling and blogging and support and fun. Love!


  1. I cannot tell you how much I love poems that showcase the ironies of animals in captivity in a way that really creates awareness. This is up there with Ted Hughes and Lawrence in my esteem.

    1. Well... thank you, Kerry. xoxo *ferklempt*

  2. they're chickens, basically, with brighter feathers. or rather, descendants of dinosaurs. either way, you've 'caught' them well here ~

  3. This is such a powerfully written poem, Marian. One which calls attention to the cruelty which animals are subject. Especially touched by; "We walked with toddlers who were learning about their space in the world while peacocks strutted their opulent plumage in confinement."

  4. Well penned ...you might enjoy William Horwood's 'Callanish'

  5. Happy Anniversary!! Oh, the irony of how we cage beauty. All living things wish for freedom. We humans are too often beasts.

  6. Good parenting or reality.... A lot to consider here.
    Happy anniversary

  7. I love that last stanza, especially. Learning out our space in the world. Yes.

  8. The contrast of that free hawk ... !

    I like the powerful understatement with which you make your points.

  9. Loving this, Marian. Teaching our young from the fowls, mostly with them, "size rules". When we visited the Penguins in The Falklands it was that way with them. Both parents hatched and raised their young. The young and the eggs were food for the larger "birds of prey."
    Even when they grew large enough to walk to the beach and learn to catch fish, they would be attacked. And also the sharks would take them.
    BTW, we've been having bird attacks of humans, walking on the sidewalks near the Houston Museum District. Mostly they are Mocking Birds, a protected specie. Only think to do is be careful and walk fast. I've seen that an umbrella helps. It probably will make Network TV, it won't be fake news.

  10. Nicely done, Marian -- Birds in captivity say more about our need to contain the wild in our children than any gifts we impart to these caged birds, and you caught that tension perfectly. Congrats on blog birthday no. 7.

  11. confinement vs. freedom The swooping hawk may not live as long, but he will live freely...

  12. To be fair, these birds are injured and are captive because they are being rehabilitated by caring people. But it still is always strange to see these majestic winged creatures caged.

  13. Seven is a very pretty age! Congrats on another year of fine writing, through all the ups and downs.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!