May 282014
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Break all the Cages!

 To Maya Angelou,

my role model and inspiration

Poem to Maya AngelouI was so young, so deeply hurt and angry!

I searched in vain for words

to name my pain.

And then I found you, Maya,

and I discovered why the cage bird sings.


Years went by and you seemed out of sight…


I was out of college, anxious to find my path,

to direct my first steps.

Should I continue doing theater?

Go on to study psychology?

How about my writing?

Poetry was the language of my soul,

but should I… could I make it my living?.


“No!” the publishers said. “Poetry does not sell!”


These words seemed to mute the world

and almost turned me deaf.


But then, I received an email that had gone “viral”

and then another, and another;

and they were all poems… your poems.


Poem to Maya AngelouThe world found words to speak to me again,

and I stopped listening to their lies

and heard your voice instead.

Because you always spoke the truth, Maya.


Years went by, and once again you seemed out of sight…


I had healed the wounds I’d carry

and now I was a healer-poet,

a storyteller, visual artist, shaman.

Each wound had become a radiant eye

in the wide Peacock fan of my potential.


Now I sought a way

to present my gifts to the world,

to name my purpose

and place it at the service of my people.


But all the experts recommended

that I cut off pieces of myself

so that a “niche” of people

could receive my presence.


This did not make an iota of sense to me.

How was it that slicing myself

could bring my whole Sacred Self

to my people?

And there you were again,

rising majestically

as the National Poet.

I read the words that you used

to present yourself:

“A new renaissance woman”


And again you guided me along the path

to find, to see, to name my Sacred Self.


Years went by and you seemed out of sight again…


As I struggled to appease the Inner War

between creativity and money

that was tearing me apart.

I was tortured by a harsh old voice in my head:

“Art does not bring home the bacon.”


How would I make money without

selling my soul, without betraying my art?


This time I searched you.

And this time your “show, don’t tell”

way of teaching was bold.
“Maya Angelou” said the speaker page,

and then I saw how much you charged

for a speaking appearance: $50,000!


At fist I was shocked.

Then I came to my senses and laughed.

That was a sure way to cure me of the

“poetry does not sell” blues!

But I laughed because you were showing me

more than my money’s worth.


You showed me the courage to own my value.

You showed me the wisdom to know and cover my costs.

You showed me the way to fund myself.

You showed me the way to shine bright

without the hunger or the burnout.


Once again you’d come to my defense!


Years went by and you seemed out of sight…


One day not so long ago

I woke up as an elder.

My first reaction was panic.

Not about age, beauty or accomplishments.

But about purpose.

I had not left my prints deep enough!

I had not reached enough people!

There was so much to do;

and now there was social media, marketing, networking, publishing…

Too much to do. Had I the time to do it?

And where was my poetry? My storytelling?

Pushed back in time by the tasks of doing business.


Now you march silently, defiantly into my life once more.

You bring your death lovingly into my life.


To show me what truly matters.

To shake my attention off my head

and back into my heart,

for a deep-dive into soul

to find the luminous path

of my presence,

the words that set me free,

that set us free;

for that is the stride

that leaves my deepest prints.


And it is now that you seem gone forever

that I know you never left.

You’ve been singing in my heart

since you helped me break that cage

with my words

so long, long ago.



Maria Mar(c)

May 28, 2014

New York, NY


Feel free to share this poem as long as you keep the credits as they are, including the link. This poem is the copyright of Maria Mar and it’s protected by international copyright law.


Great Post

I highly recommend that you read Luminita’s post at the Purpose Fairy about 21 life-changing lessons t learn from Maya Angelou

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About Maria Mar

Maria Mar is a Sacred Storyteller and shaman who champions you to change your old limiting story to create the new story of your brilliance illuminating the world. She helps you awaken your magic, express your creative genius, embody your purpose and live your potential now.