the bird and the word

The Bird and The Word.

Kung Fu’s remix of my poem The bird leaves its cage and enters another featuring Javolenus’ beautiful vocal impro and guitar and Kung Fu’s own poem as a kind of serendipitous bookend. Courtesy of





The bird leaves its cage and enters another

                    for Juan Garrido-Salgado*





english was in the air.

the air

was english


blowing on a sea breeze at henley or glenelg

one sentence floats near you


but it will not come

into your mouth


tortured                         barred

in  &  from    your homeland


mute in the newland

your heart bleeds metaphors

exiled from your tongue


alien vowels/ consonants

fill your ears

elude your mouth


your heart an injured bird

one wing

plastered to tarmac


an impotent flapping

in spanish





  • In 1990 Juan was granted asylum in Australia after fleeing Chile’s Pinochet régime which burned his poetry and imprisoned and tortured him.


This was first published in Blue Giraffe 3 ISSN: 1832-6277. It also appeared in my collection micromacro and on the Poetas del Mundo and Australian Reader websites.


Juan kindly translated it into Spanish for me, so I include it here if anyone wants to have a go!


El pájaro deja su jaula y entra en otra

para Juan Garido-Salgado*



el Inglés estaba en el aire

el aire

fue el inglés

soplando sobre la brisa del mar en la playa de henley o glenelg

una frase flota cerca del él


pero esta no vendrá

dentro de su boca


torturada            encarcelada

en y desde su tierra natal


mudo en el nuevo país

su corazón sangra metáforas

exiliadas desde su lengua


extrañas vocales/ consonantes

invaden sus oídos

eluden su boca


tu corazón un pájaro herido

una ala

enyesada para el asfalto

un débil aleteo

en español.



rob walker

poeta australiano.


* En 1990, a  Juan Garrido Salgado le dieron la visa de Residencia Permanente en Australia, después de dejar a tras a la dictadura de Pinochet. Quien lo encarcelo, torturó. También  sus abuelos quemaron una caja de sus poemas y enterraron libros en uno de los tantos allanamientos policiales en busca de materiales peligros o sediciosos.


* Este poema fue publicado en la revista de poesía Blue Giraffe # 3 magazine en Australia 2006.



↑ (click play)

Speck (M. Gersten) usually mixes his innovative works to one of my pre-recorded poems. This time I’m inspired to write something based on HIS work. It all came from the title Meant To Be, the suggestion of marching, the lyrics of Vie de rose and recent reading on the Weimer Republic and the rise of Nazism. I merged this with the old moral/ philosophical dilemma on whether it’s an ethical thing to kill Hitler. I tried to make it personal. Thanks to Speck for the brilliant material to work with.












Is this one the path you chose?




Are your glasses tinted rose?


mon coeur qui bat on Kristallnacht








Do you believe in destiny? That some things are just meant be? That time must march a steady beat? The jackboots stomping in the street?


That future’s written like the past? Some things endure and some won’t last?


History.             Is it cycles or straight lines?


Concentric circles?                   Pre-defined?




Tempus fugit, so relentless


act or react           cycles            endless




automatons march on,                         advancing


component parts             persistent             dancing


wind-up watches. Tiny cogs


tadpoles turning into frogs






So, picture yourself, a time traveler back in thirties Berlin. Weimar Republic Cabaret. Bauhaus.




You meet him in a Beer Hall. A young demobbed soldier, now unemployed artist. After a few steins he tells you of the betrayal of the German Volk by the gutless leaders. While he was earning the iron cross in the trenches and taking ground the politicians were capitulating. And now The People have lost their pride, lost their land. They need Living Space. And after a few more beers he tells you of his Grand Plan to rid the Fatherland of the vermin. The homosexuals. The whining, soft intellectuals, the Jews. He seems so idealistic, this young man, Adolf. We The People need to Take Back Our Country. Get rid of Illegals.






But you’ve been to the future. A future already written. He doesn’t know that. He doesn’t know that the hand in your pocket is gripping a gun. This is the moment. Fire the shot. Save millions of lives. Can you do it? Face to face with Adolf Hitler, a gun in your hand. Will you kill him in cold blood? Knowing what you know now. You have one opportunity. Can you squeeze that trigger?






















Is this one the path you chose?


Are your glasses tinted rose?


Mon coeur qui bat on Kristallnacht




Can you squeeze that trigger?




Too late.


La vie en rose


The is now was…