Bird Time

A prison poem which is about birds and time as the title suggests. Some prisoners refer to time passed behind bars as “bird” which may derive from the expression “jailbird”. My etymological dictionaries give no explanation.
This was written, or at least finished in May 2017, at HMP Hollesley Bay which borders on to a bird sanctuary. I saw so many birds there, some of which I had never seen before. Please remember that Hollesley Bay is an “Open” prison where the regime has nothing to do with those of B or C Cat Prisons of which I write a lot. In a B Cat, such as HMP Wandsworth, the only wildlife one is likely to see are rats and cockroaches, and the occasional pigeon that squeezed through a hole in the netting which covers the exercise yards.

Bird Time

What’s the worth of a watch where Time stands still?
As seagulls shriek in sunlight; shrill
Shrieking, wreaking havoc in sound
Song thrush, hushed to the far background
Let these honest hours debit the sentence
Of they who pound the paths of penitence

Walking, stalking, Birds of song
Who know not how the day is long
Perching, chirping, flying fleet
Birds know the moment fledglings eat
As inmates know the Time to arise
When Birds fly from nest to sunrise skies

Time awaits no man, as yet
The die is cast when sun is set
Darkness comes, the Birds in silence
Behind the bars, lay some men of violence
No volatiles squawk, no inmates walk
No banter now, no useless talk

Then morning, talking of Time to pass
Their ‘Bird’, as some would say, alas
Birds may sing without a rhyme
But they talk and talk, to just pass Time
In daytime Birds sound all around
Jail Birds’ Bird Time finally found

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