Wednesday, January 1, 2014


To start the new year off, 
here is a new poem by Charlie.
Lots to think about here...
We invite you to share your thoughts with us.

Happy New Year to you, and 
may this be a good year.

A poem by Charles Patrick Norman

In the prison of my rejection live rejected men, rejected
by society, so isn’t it odd that they, in turn, would reject
men they judged more worthy of rejection than they?

So it was in the prison of my rejection, two rejected men
walked together, round and round, shunned by rejected men
for their sins and proclivities known to be indulged in that world.

So after the storm the rejected men found a baby mockingbird
on the ground beneath a palm, blown out of the nest, so of course
they tossed it over and over, up to the nest, to no avail.

The baby bird fell and fell, one stick leg snapped, broken,
rejected by family that couldn’t cope with its infirmity, it would have died,
so of course it was only natural to put it in a shoebox,

Which the rejected ones filled with rags for a nest, and a
plastic bottle filled with hot water, so the rejected baby
would survive the cold night beneath bunk beds in the prison.

Of course it had to eat, or die, so the rejected ones went
on the hunt for grasshoppers, crickets, dug for worms, even
bread balls from the chow hall, they tended their charge,

Even splinted the broken stick leg — too late — the leg fell off,
left the baby mockingbird balancing on one foot, which it was
prone to do, on the shoulders of one rejected man or other.

So the three of them walked the track together, Bobby —
they named him Bobby — hopping back and forth, chirping,
demanding they find more grasshoppers, crickets, and worms,

Which they did, relentlessly, since others would not approach
them, even the curious, for they were so rejected, even by
the rejected, others would not help the three of them.

So Bobby survived, flapped his wings, learned to fly,
went off to catch his own food, balancing precariously on
fences and eaves, visited other birds, but always came back.

One day he didn’t come back, flew away to be with his
own kind, mockingbirds, ones that looked past his infirmity,
accepted him, found a mate, like the rejected ones.

Another day, rejected men in their crowds walked round
and round when out of the sky a sleek gray mockingbird
with one leg landed on one rejected man’s shoulder.

Sang a long, sad song, serenaded the men, balanced
precariously, flapped his wings, hopped onto the other
man’s shoulder, then rejoined its mate on the fence.

So new men would come and go, and gape at the sight
of the sleek gray mockingbird flying, landing on a
rejected shoulder, singing, serenading, bringing them happiness.

In an otherwise loveless world of prison rejection,
where their own kind shunned them, stayed apart, all except
for Bobby, who loved them, and saw past their infirmities.

POET’S NOTE: This poem has been roiling in my mind for  over twenty-five years, the images crisp, clear, and unforgettable, the oddity of two strange little prisoners walking endlessly around the track with the chirping mockingbird flitting from one man’s shoulder to the other, one or the other pouncing on a green grasshopper, holding it up, the bird gulping it, and later, the adult bird returning unerringly to sing a song, and leave again.   CHarlie

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

geep. I love that.