Tongues — A Poem

An artfully altered photo of a Blue Jay peering down from its perch, a peanut in its beak.
“Blue Jay” — C.Birde, 1/22

Blue Jay speaks

in voice of Crow

& Red Tail Hawk…

Vivid notes of lapis,

flinty hematite,

& earthy jasper drift

in downward mix

& tuck themselves

in ear & thoughts

of self-assessment

My own song I’ve

disguised to keep

a thorny Peace…

Once circumscribed

to silence

Fated to wither in

the nest

No More.

The words of Love

fly from my tongue

plumed, bright-

feathered,

& in full voice.

— C.Birde, 1/22

Primeval — A Dream

An artfully altered photo of a giant Sequoia, soaring skyward.
“Primeval” — C.Birde, 7/17

Trees primeval upward soar,

exceed the vast sky’s vault

Thunderous in size

Forthright

Unbent

They filter thrumming veins

of green-gold, dusted light

Press palms to rough-furred

sorrel bark while standing

ankle-deep in moss & slow-

uncurling ferns & hear –

like a breath against the skull –

soft inquiry:

Moon or Sword?

    What will you place in

     my heartwood?

     Which will be your gift

     of me?

— C.Birde, 1/22

Perspective — A Poem

An artfully altered photo of a spider's web, pearled with raindrops, against a background of wood & water.
“Web” — A.Schnitzler, 12/21

Distance reveals

the web’s complexity

of form –

those anchors of support,

the strands that spiral

in & down;

Grants the space to see

the pattern of the weave –

the warp & weft of whys,

wherefores that catch

upon proximity.

Grateful of perspective

room to feel & breathe;

Anxiety of being held

forever fixed in place,

subtracted.

— C.Birde, 1/22

North Star — A Dream

An artfully altered photo of a quick, loose sketch of a line-drawn star encased in rainbow hues.
“North Star” — C.Birde,1/22

On smooth blacktop

before the barricade,

he waits –

I, beside him –

as the clerk

(severe in appearance

& attitude)

returns again…

Third trip to & from

the store,

he attempts, now,

to bend influence

toward the piece

he has selected

& presents.

No.

Enough of this.

We leave together.

For I possess not one,

but two North Stars –

the first resides

in my right ear;

the other rests

(unworn)

on green velvet,

in a small chest of wood.

“You, my love,” I say,

& guide him through

the empty lot,

away,

“will have the second.”

— C.Birde, 1/22

Absence — A Poem

An artfully altered photo -- mirror image -- of a tree, with limbs linking.
“Mirror Maple” — C.Birde, 1/22

Trees,

dark-stroked

against a sky obscured

& damply blotted,

lift expectant limbs…

Bare

Exposed

Stripped

to elemental truth.

I stand beneath…

In search of self

& soul

& all that’s sacred

amongst knotted roots

& last’s year’s fallen

leaves.

— C.Birde, 1/22

Seasonal — An Image

An artfully altered photo of a fallow meadow.
“Rattlesnake Meadow, December” — C.Birde, 12/21

“I sing a new song

when the months

grow cold,”

her voice carried low

across the landscape’s

scrape & tumble,

“but tune your ear

& you will hear me

crooning

all the same…”

— C.Birde, 12/21

Hollows — A Dream

An artfully altered photo of a hand and forearm, outstretched in open-palm gesture.
“Gesture” — C.Birde, 12/21

Plush dark…

Through this obscurity,

slowly, the forearm arcs

& scythes,

wrist rotating outward

in sinuous motion until

the palm cups skyward

(gibbous moon gesture)

& fingertips, at length,

draw into line the nest…

A compact bird’s nest,

expertly woven of twigs

& grass & random fibers,

its hollow delicately lined

& not-quite-wholly-filled…

At rest within its center,

a singular egg of pale blue

uncrack’d,

intact.

Two hollows,

full of expectation….

Empty hand & nest…

— C.Birde, 12/21