The Cage Within

The Cage Within
I was jailed for a very long time
I passed my days by remembering
Brilliant views of the sky when I was free to fly
Or by revisiting the thrill and the pleasure I often felt
When I was in my familial forest habitat
But mostly my time was consumed
With the bitter aroma of memories
That seemed to be part of my feathers
Right since my childhood days
I agonized at the world’s unfair treatment meted out to me
And I felt anger when I realized my sufferings
Were not caused by what I did
Nor was it caused by who I was
But by others and external events I had no control over
I managed to sooth my self-inflicted wounds
(Wounds was my only way to externalize my pain)
With the ointment of compassion and self-love
But that was too infrequent to make me feel better
My desperate search for normalcy
And my own place and identity in life
Seemed to lead me to a place
Where I felt like a worthless incognito
More than anything else
I realized my soul had become a prisoner
Of my own neural network
In which the firing and misfiring neurons
Led me on the same path of conclusions full of miseries
I was powerless against the feeling of powerlessness
Is there something that can change all this?
It took me a long time indeed
To realize that neither immeasurable success
Nor incredible accomplishments
Had the power to unshackle me
One day, I crossed a bridge
Where the conscious meets the subconscious
Darkness holds a summit with light
And the abstract merges with the concrete
I ran into a cave that seemed like
Embodiment of wisdom of the prior ages
The monks had managed to hide and protect
The statues and sculptures inside
From the onslaught of senseless extremism
A deep sound with the thunder of clouds said
“I know why you are here, my son”
The deep voice continued:
What happened before and what lies ahead
Are small things compared to what lies within us.
To be happy, you need to be oblivious
Only to two things, which are
How others have wronged you and secondly
What good you did for others!
The power lies within you, my child!
It is only you who can unlock it.
I opened the lock of inertia
On my cage and I set myself free
After opening the gate of forgiveness.
I cannot forget but I can forgive!
I take full responsibility for my own detention
Now my pain is in a state of permanent remission
It is only a memory that does not bother me anymore
It remains only as a memory and I happily live with my past
That I was jailed for a very long time!

About this poem

The poem depicts my tormenting mental struggles. It shows how I could come in terms with them and learn to manage them most of the times.

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Written on June 15, 2015

Submitted by kishore_d on December 23, 2022

Modified on May 01, 2023

2:22 min read

Quick analysis:

Scheme Text too long
Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 2,477
Words 476
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 63

Kishore Deshpande

Born in India, I migrated to the US with my family in 1986 and have lived is the US ever since. I hold two master's degrees; in Mathematics and Computer Science. I have diverse interests ranging from Math, Technology to Poetry, Philosophy and Politics. more…

All Kishore Deshpande poems | Kishore Deshpande Books

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Discuss the poem The Cage Within with the community...

  • dougb.72572
    Excellent mystical account, explaining how self pity, unforgiveness, envy and social norm were the bars for a long time caging, entrapping, with resultant self-condemnation. And misery.
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • teril
    Your journey is inspiring - your poem brings us to a place of hope.
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • jennifert.99162
    Very well written. This poem hits home.
    LikeReply1 year ago


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"The Cage Within" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 15 Jul 2024. <>.

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