Capriccio — A Poem


“Josie” — C.Birde, 9/17





tik –

Staccato click

of claws

on gravel, grass, stone.

Clink and jingle

of tags,

oval and oblong;

steel burnishing


Metronomic wag

of tail.

Four fleet feet,

a scant ten pounds,

she sets a lively pace

and pulls me

 — up —

the MoUnTaIn.



— C.Birde, 9/17


Girl-Eyed Doe — A Dream

Girl-Eyed Doe.jpg

“Girl-Eyed Doe” — C.Birde, 9/17



Driving. The road ribboning out ahead, onward. A blur of green trees to the left, cool with shadow, leaves rustling. To the right, open fields echoing the trees’ green pulse.

She found them in her yard.

The car’s open windows gathering his words; spreading, elongating, lifting them away.

Two fawns. The mother never returned for them.

On the right, in the distance, a low structure resolving. Beyond the field’s edge – a café. Bright white flash of walls. Glassless window casements stretching from foundation to roofline. Over the low wall, a fawn leaping out one of the wide-open casements. Stick-thin legs extending over grass, bunching, and tangling. The fawn collapsing – an angular heap of pale rust fur within the field.

Crunching of tires on gravel. The car pulling over, stopping on the shoulder. Opening the door. Jumping out. Running across the field, legs eating up ground, arms lifting. Outwards. Toward the fawn.

Don’t be dead don’t be dead.

A woman exiting the café, reaching the fawn and scooping it up. Cradling it in her arms; the fawn, struggling, kicking.

Arriving, breathless, beside them. Noticing, over the woman’s shoulder, the second fawn inside the café, standing on a bistro table.

So wonderful that you’ve saved them!

The woman stroking the fawn’s narrow skull. The fawn, laying its head against her shoulder, against the spill of her dark hair. She, kissing its forehead.

It was the only choice.

The woman turning, walking back to the café, setting the fawn down near its twin; draping her arms over each.

Following. Entering the windowed/windowless building. Approaching the table, and the woman, and the fawns. Observing all three slowly turning. Seeing the fawns’ faces clearly. Gasping aloud. Staring at those flat, identically stamped oval faces.

The creatures staring back – fawns with the faces of sober young girls. Ringleted hair tumbling to either side of their large, tufted, twitching ears.


— C.Birde, 9/17



Schrodinger’s Cat-erpillar


“Eastern Tiger Swallowtail” — C.Birde, 9/17



wrought of

hardened protein

and spun silk,

it exists

in two states,

twice –

alive and dead;

caterpillar and



a truth entire.


the chrysalis splits

and butterfly


Or does not.

Spun silk heart,

not yet hardened,

snug between ribs,

beating in

two states –

Hope and



— C.Birde, 9/17

Chrysanthemum Sea — A Dream


“Chrysanthemum Sea” — C.Birde, 9/17


In the distance you see her – skirts clutched, she stumbles toward you, through the vast cavern. Far above, the ceiling collects and spreads darkness. But a vague luminosity of indefinite source slides over her form as she runs. This pale glow gathers in the folds of her dress, defines the wayward strands of her hair. Observe — the knot of hair at the base of her neck works loose.

Catch her, as she collides into you. Feel her shoulders convulse as she weeps into her hands. Sense her exhaustion, her heartbreak. Hear the tumble of words pour from her lips.

Listen — to her sad story. Of drama, deception, heartbreak. Of the man she had loved, had devoted herself to. See, as she speaks of him, his image grow in your mind – a tall man, regal in bearing, a cascade of bright black hair. Dressed in antique style, in blue surcoat and white lace cravat. Wonder how she could not have seen the arrogance, the cruel calculation in his eyes, how she could never have suspected. Oh, but she knew now. When their son reached 15 years of age. Then, she learned. The ugly truth. That she would be drained entirely of blood to sustain the boy, that her whole purpose had never been otherwise.

So she had run. Escaped. And now, feared endless pursuit.

Accept her head within the curve of your neck and shoulder. Accept her sobs. Embrace her. Hold her tight, steady her as her body wracks with spasms. Take her narrow hands in your own, and lead her from the road, away, to the field of chrysanthemums. The flowers bloom in a grid of formal lines and rows. Bright clusters of yellow, earthen amber, pale lilac, crimson, pearl-washed moonlight. Draw her down beneath the petalled rays, beneath the leathery green leaves. Kiss her once – lightly, gently. Swim with her, along the tilled earth. Through miles of sheltering blooms and leaves, as your skin collects the flowers’ perfumed breath.

Swim with her, safe from harm, free of discovery, beneath the flowers, in the subterranean, chrysanthemum sea.


— C.Birde, 9/17



Finale — A Poem


“Helianthus” — C.Birde, 8/17



on the heels of



the evening prior,

the night sky


with asters and



A blaze of moments.

The season fades.

The psychic end

of summer.


— C.Birde, 9/6/17

Storm Doors — A Dream


storm door.jpg

“Storm Doors” — C.Birde, 9/17


These worlds are flat.

Tethered one-to-another by flexible, gray tubing, each hangs suspended in space like a great dish; floats, like a flattened bead strung along a cosmic necklace. Deep, inky-dark, vast, star-pricked space surrounds, but travel between the flat worlds is possible by way of the tubes. Slide through them – a whoosh of air, a thought – and arrive at your destination on another world that extends, equally flattened, edge to edge, and scrapes against unprotected space. No walls. No railings. No net below to catch any misstep. Yet there is air – lungs expand and contract easily, naturally. There is gravity – the surface underfoot gently accepts and repels each stride. And each flattened world glows softly with gathered, reflected light. See them shine; beacons within a nameless constellation.

All is perfectly ordinary…except for the door.

A reinforced storm door rises, monolithic, from an embankment of silt-gray earth and stone. Twin horizontal lengths of orange metal. No sun-kissed citrus shade; but a dull throb of sullen color. A warning. A threat. It both draws and repulses. And does it – beyond its fierce, featureless slab – protect, or imperil?

Breath catches, heart ratchets.





— C.Birde, 9/17