I've liked a lot of popular songs over the years. But the best ones are those I've learnt to sing, either with an ensemble or solo. The sheer high of the shared occasion, the pressure of performance which often unpacks a deeper meaning, have loaded them with a golden significance. It's impossible to choose a favourite. But the following poem is a spin on Alison Krauss's beautiful song, You Say It Best When You Say Nothing At All.
I Know Why The Caged Bird Doesn't Sing
I know why the caged bird doesn't sing
And why God-given feather falls in spring
The cruellest month bespeaks regeneration
And flight from climes that temper inspiration
To climes where climbs the stallion sun
Envoy of death-blows dealt and done
Vaulting the hurdle of the season
While overruling rhyme and reason
Reckless florescence bursts its stays
And bears blind seed of future days
Rain-sown in heat and glorious folly
Oblivious of winter's volley
And Sibylline November wreathes
The Hope that free midsummer breathes,
It mulches cankered autumn sepal
Unreins the worm within the apple.
In gilded prison with wings pent
The linnet mourns his element
Preserved from naked thorn and frost
While honeyed halcyon days are lost
Spent life can yield – the seasons show it
But the caged bird can never know it.
His eye is sad, the sentence long,
Though inside jailer thwarts his song.
Causes Rosy Cole Supports
World Vision, International Prison Outreach, Salvation Army, Emmaus Project, Poor Clares, DogsTrust, BUAV (against animal testing) WWT (Wildfowl &...