One of my favourite poems!

In prison

the clouds assume importance

and the birds

With a small spice of sky

cut off by walls

of bleak hostility

and pressed upon by hostile authority

the mind turns upwards

when it can –

there can be no hope

of seeing the stars:

the arch and fluorescents

have blotted them out –

the complex aeronautics

of the birds

and their exuberant acrobatics

become matters of intrigued speculation

and wonderment

cliches about the freedom of the birds

and their absolute freedom from care

become meaningful

and the graceful unimpeded motion of the clouds

a kind of music, poetry, dance –

sends delicate rhythms tremoring through the flesh

and fantasies course easily through the mind

− where are they going

where will they dissolve

will they be seen by those at home

and whom will they delight.

− Dennis Brutus


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