Terry O'Leary

Captive Bird - 12 Bars 12 Dreams - Poem by Terry O'Leary


Twelve brazen bars, one frozen lock!
Confined, sublime, an ancient Roc
endures inside a barren cage,
her catacomb in sundown sage.

Of former days there is no trace
except displays of fallen grace -
Twelve dreams, abiding in her place,
are free, inhabit yawning space:


... of wings unfurled, and seething eyes
that dredge the depths of dawning skies,
devining clouds that cling below,
once ice, dissolved in morning's glow;

... of clutching winds that carry free
above an anguished leaden sea,
dispersing dust of distant stars
midst chunks of chain in slave bazaars;

... of swooping to a silent shore
to perch beside the ocean's roar,
at last to feel the sobbing breeze
message the leaves of rooted trees;

... of stalking strays and twilight tramps
within the fog of lighthouse lamps
that blink forlorn through caldron nights
in search of shades of errant Kites;

... of darkling vast deserted lands,
with shadowed stones on windswept sands,
where ghosts of Moorish maidens lost
disgorge faint groans in mourning frost;

... of blotting out the bloated moon
while feathers beat a banshee tune
and glimmers dance and prance aglow
upon a pearly pale plateau;

... of tasting cool torrential rains,
beyond the realm of binding chains,
and sipping freedom they exude
in quite drops of solitude;

... of vanquishing a galley crew
aboard a ship in midnight dew,
beneath the pierce of seagulls' screams
that mock the strands of scarlet streams;

... of sating once an aching craw
with tearing beak, with ripping claw,
and echoed by an eldritch screech
while feasting on abandoned beach;

... of restive thoughts and weary wings
that drift on haze in smoky rings,
obscured within the opal shroud
of her resemblance in the crowd;

... of croaking caws in broken rhyme
in winter woe, in summer clime,
while building nests of sundown sage
beyond outside a barren cage.

Topic(s) of this poem: freedom

Form: Couplet

Comments about Captive Bird - 12 Bars 12 Dreams by Terry O'Leary

  • Ruby Honeytip (2/9/2013 1:09:00 AM)

    Oh boy....you make my stuff look like preschooler scribbles.

    Of swooping to a silent shore,
    To perch beyond the ocean's roar
    Amazed to feel the sobbing breeze
    Message the leaves of rooted trees;

    No one will top this....ever!
    (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Ellias Anderson Jr. (7/28/2012 1:55:00 AM)

    The feeling of freedom in title...
    wow, you really paint a nice imagination Terry, ....thats fantastic. i like these two lines the most:
    Of stalking trails of twilight tramps,
    Within the fog of lighthouse lamps
    (Report) Reply

  • Valerie Dohren (7/25/2012 11:18:00 AM)

    Brilliant piece of writing - well written and rhymed. Well done. (Report) Reply

  • Allemagne Roßmann (7/19/2012 1:52:00 PM)

    Very poignant write and nice imageries (Report) Reply

Read all 4 comments »

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Poem Edited: Thursday, September 7, 2017

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