Birdcage in the Forbidden City

(Guest post by Paul F. Lenzi from



deep within a Ming palace

sprawling six hundred years

upon secret imperial grounds

behind blood-red façade

beneath yellow glazed tiles

and mythic menagerie eaves

amid rampant dragons

stalking capital pinnacles

of mighty wood columns

hangs a vast multi-tiered

human-family-sized cage

slender members of bonework

traced with intricate filigree

delicate latticework

woven splinters and splines

of ivories and jades

once home to bright plumage

exotic and sacred and captive

rare birds unaware

they were lodging in paradise