Why the Caged Bird Sings

This week, veteran poet Felix Cheong, who's always quick on his feet to give social commentary and quib words of wit gives us his take on "Why does the caged bird sing".  

Why the Caged Bird Sings
by Felix Cheong

Because singing sounds deep
When talk is cheep.

Because songs mark time
In their keepsake of rhymes.

Because it's easier behind bars
Wishing upon stars.

Because Cage is in the John
Four minutes thirty-three too long.

Because to be still
Is watching, waiting till.

Because God listens to prayers In the Sabbath of His lair.

Felix Cheong has never considered himself a funny writer. Until the Singapore Siu Dai stories hit him in the head, he was known more as a writer of poetry and fiction. Felix has published ten books, including four volumes of poetry. His collection of short stories, Vanishing Point, was longlisted for the 2013 Frank O’Connor Award.

He is currently a lecturer in journalism and a weekly columnist with news website The Middle Ground. Nothing surprised him as much as the satirical short, short stories that came together in a rush in Singapore Siu Dai.

This piece was written as part of #Whydoesthecagedbirdsing inspired by our new book, Payoh by Jim Tan.