Sudden Exit — A Poem

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“Snowdrops” — C.Birde, 2/20

 

For Lydia

 

When the day

has slipped,

and all its

burdens –

         large,

         small,

         soul-expanding

are set

aside;

when sleep

arrives –

         calm or fitful,

         dreamless or

         dream-full;

when the new day

dawns and

the world

(having fulfilled

its obligations)

continues

its slow,

unbroken

revolution;

I will carry

your absence

forward,

always,

in my grief-

softened

heart.

 

— C.Birde, 2/20

 

Constriction — A Dream

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“Path” — C.Birde, 2/20

 

Follow

the path,

through wood &

moonlit dark,

along

smooth-set stones

well worn

with age.

Climb

the steps –

long & shallow,

silver-limned –

to the well,

squarely centered

amidst the pour

of flat stones

beneath

the arbor with

its twist of aged,

dark-rust

vines.

But –

there

curled around

the well

& draped

down the steps

in undulating

folds –

the snake

prevents

approach.

Mammoth

in proportions –

a hundred feet

in length;

three feet

in diameter –

it lies

like shadow;

near static,

but for

the stirring

of those caught

within it.

Three shapes

clearly identified –

FoX,

PumA,

Hound doG —

each living

& struggling

against confinement.

      “Cut them free!

      They’re still

      alive!” –

frantic exhortation

flung against

the night’s

deaf ears.

The dog —

most recently

consumed —

wags its long

brush of tail,

parts its jaws

&

audibly,

barks.

Yes.

Oh, please.

While they

yet live,

cut them

      f r e e.

 

 

C.Birde, 2/20

Opposing Forces — A Pair of Images

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“Route 75 Traffic” — C.Birde, 2/20

 

Traffic bisected

the grassland’s

patchwork

in ceaseless tide.

“Only humans,”

she observed,

“will admire

a thing

to its

utter

unmaking.”

 

— C.Birde, 2/20

 

 

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“Light Shaft (Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary)” — C.Birde, 2/20

 

 

 

 

A River, Hidden — A Poem

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“Course” — C.Birde, 2/20

 

Stop crying –”

O, tears,

disobedient .

“— or I’ll give you

a reason

to cry.

O, reasons,

manifold,

variable,

unpredictable.

Action begets

reaction;

effect follows

cause.

The river –

dammed,

diverted,

disguised.

Feel

the tears’

slow prick

and glide…

Retreat.

Turn away,

turn

aside.

 

 

— C.Birde, 2/20

 

Cipher — A Poem

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“Cipher” — C.Birde, 2/20

 

We rode the air

on dark wings

glittering —

a hundred pair

(Once, we numbered

thousands)

tried,

with each beating

stroke

and the rust

of our throats

(“O, hear us,

O, listen…”)

We skirled

and soughed through

the bone-bare trees

and cried in a voice of

calamity:

“Beware!

Our cipher,

our patterns, heed.

Beware!”

Your heads

never

lifted.

 

— C.Birde, 2/20

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“One” — C.Birde, 2/20