Descendant — A poem

An artfully altered photo, looking up through the interwoven crosshatch of leaves and branches of a burning bush.
“Flameless Burning Bush” — C.Birde, 7/21

She made no sound

Waited to be seen

within the flameless

burning bush

Shadow on shadow

Soot and smoke

Avian stroke of song

unsung

Each note contained

nested in gray breast

Then, as suddenly, seen

— a revelation perched

on gray-green twist

of twig.

— C.Birde, 7/21

Arthropodal Bloom — A Dream

An artfully augmented photo of peony flowers in full bloom.
“Arthropodal Bloom” — C.Birde, 7/21

No sooner

had they fallen,

that trembling sphere

of cicadas held immobile

& enmeshed in spider’s

webs;

Fallen & scattered

in arcane pattern strewn

over squares of white linen

spread over tar-papered

roof;

An arcane pattern

of gleeful arthropods

rewriting their future

as unbound individuals &

collective;

No sooner

had they fallen

into newfound freedom,

than they began,

in a grinning profusion

of pale pink petals,

to  b l o o m.

— C.Birde, 7/21

Rescue — A Dream

A stylized photo of a white tablecloth's drape.
“Under the Tablecloth” — C.Birde, 7/21

Leave them.

Leave them here,

near the white marble

countertop –

     paring knife

     sweet potato

     woman.

Attend, instead,

to the anger,

the flint & spark

of charged words.

Attend

the grief & fear,

the ceaseless fall

of tears.

Follow this unhappy tide –

     jaw set

     ears attuned

     heart clenched

Follow

toward the table

spread with white cloth,

chairs pushed in

to contain that

which lies beneath,

within…

Avoid

the hand that shoots out

from this self-made cage

to grasp at calf,

at ankle…

Grasp

that hand & s-q-u-e-e-z-e

until those fine,

timeworn bones protest,

the hand itself struggles

to retract…

Demand –

     c-r-u-n-c-h,

     c-r-a-c-k

demand

that he release the child

he traps beneath.

In exchange,

release your grip.

Exit,

tousle-haired child

weeping against

your neck’s curve,

balanced on

your hip.

— C.Birde, 7/21

Bee Tree Psalm — A Poem

An artfully altered photo, looking up through the sunlit branches of a Linden Tree, aka American Basswood, aka Bee Tree.
“Bee Tree (Linden)” — C.Birde, 6/21

“Come,”

he said,

and lead me out

beneath the bee tree’s dome.

We stood together,

wreathed

in sweet saturated scent and

downward-descending drift

of apiarian song woven through

that namesake tree’s

flower-pricked upswept

boughs.

And we were one,

and we were one,

and we are ever

one.

— C.Birde, 6/21

Funeral — A Dream

An artfully altered photo of a slanted, corridored room...
“Tilt” — C.Birde, 6/21

Within this timeworn house

of haphazard architecture,

tilting floors & walls leaning

so corridors & large rooms

are winnowed down to small:

A funeral for one who,

in waking life, yet thrives;

while the other pair who,

beyond the dream’s confines

have truly died,

remain alive & utterly besotted

of the two young charges

fostered to their joyful care.

Kneeling,

see how she ruffles their dark hair?

wraps them in embrace,

in smiles & warm kindness?

Strange time to transfer

obligation of such import.

A funeral…

dull ebony coffin stretched

in final demarcation

of the vaguely sloping room;

symbol of thwarted Fates,

of fortunes turned…

And I –

witness to both fact & dream;

to contradiction;

Ghost-like,

I roam the altered account,

unaddressed,

unmarked,

unseen.

— C.Birde, 6/21

Interrupt — A Poem

An artfully augmented photo of a earthen path through a green wood.
“Wood” — C.Birde, 6/21

The sky unzips & groans –

sliced, clipped, bisected –

while, rooted below,

I struggle to parse

interrupted songs of

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Carolina Wren

Ovenbird

&

T

h

r

u

s

h.

— C.Birde, 6/21