Hope & Heartwork — A Poem

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“Scrawl” — C.Birde, 2/18

 

Pin hope

elsewhere.

I am no mountain,

meant to bear such weight

of expectation.

I am breeze and stream and

Springtide —

transient,

unfixed,

elusory.

Pushed and pulled

by love and longing,

cruelty and kindness.

Pin no hope on

me.

See

to your own

heart’s

work.

 

— C.birde, 2/18

 

 

Filling Holes — A Dream

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“Graffiti” — C.Birde, 2/18

 

Stare out the passenger window as the landscape blurs past. Anything to distract. He drives with one hand on the convertible’s steering wheel, his left arm rests on the door’s frame. He, a mustachioed middle-aged man with a paunch. He, who wears his comb-over like a Franciscan Monk. He, who won’t stop talking.

As we speed along, the wind plucks at his words, comically tosses his fringe of hair.

Arrive at a squat, two-story octagonal building. Robust and colorful graffiti interrupts the peeling white paint of the structure’s weathered exterior. Perched on a narrow spit of land, the building broods over the gray ocean.

Exit the convertible. Follow him — and his endless monologue. Up a wooden ramp that spirals simultaneously around the building’s wind-whipped skeletal exterior and its dim, yet warmly lit interior. Pass small clutches of people hunched and huddled at the ramp’s edges.

While tramping ever upward, notice that the inclined ramp is pocked with rows of evenly spaced, one-inch diameter holes. Each hole contains a large, thick, striped- and dotted multi-colored caterpillar. In a rolling wave, dozens — hundreds — of the creatures retreat, withdraw into their respective holes to avoid being stepped on. Then, in a rolling wave, they thrust their fat heads out of the holes again once the threat has passed.

 

— C.Birde, 2/18

 

Wave — A Dream

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“Steps” — C.Birde, 2/18

 

 

Wave goodbye.

As they exit the house and tumble out into the soft song of evening. As they descend the long set of rough stone steps that switch back and forth through short cut grass. As, laughing, they climb and jostle and elbow their way into the small, sleek black car parked at the curbside below.

Stand on the threshold, and wave.

And when one of them – the last to duck into the car – pauses, turns, and looks back up the rise; when that one answers my hand’s raised motion; when he grins broadly, warmly…

Wave.

Wave goodbye.

 

— C.Birde, 2/18

Wood and Water — A Dream

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“Wood and Water” — C.Birde, 2/18

 

The canoe slides noiselessly through the river. Beneath lily pads and water lettuce, the water is astonishingly clear. Stare down to the river’s bed — observe the passage of soft-tumbled stones pressed into fine silt. Shift of focus — see in stead the pattern of complex reflections tremble against the water’s surface.

Trees huddle to left and right — thick, green, lush, they define what once must have been the river’s slope-shouldered banks. The river, though, has swollen to claim large portions of the wood. Even midstream, trees lift themselves skyward – roots and trunks knuckle up through shallow water; while bark, worked in layered shapes and soft colors, peels slowly away from those wooded torsos. Dip the oars and navigate the canoe around these, with care.

Reach a hand out, over the canoe’s edge. Trail fingers through the water and touch an up-thrust, thick-gnarled root. The entire tree shivers, disintegrates, crumbles away. Fibrous bits and splinters drift and spiral down through the water, sift and settle to dust the stones nested within the riverbed below.