Irma, Afield — A Dream

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“Afield” — C.Birde, 4/18


How long has it been  since I’ve seen her? Twenty years? Thirty? Forty? Yet there she stands — Irma. In her lilac house dress, patterned all over with small sprigs of flowers. In her flat, sensible, Mary-jane style shoes — scuffed and comfortable. In her nude compression stockings — rolled beneath her knees and creased in folds about her ankles. She is small and compact – moreso than I recall – and stands with her small hands neatly folded over the curve of her belly.  Coiffed and snowy ringlets peep from the band of her netted, pillbox hat. Oyster-colored cat-framed glasses perch on the bridge of her nose, connected — one temple to the other — by a strand of silver beads that drapes loosely down the back of her neck.

Most of all, though — most of all — Irma smiles. A pure, honest, dimpling smile that lifts her cheeks against the lower rims of her glasses and transforms her eyes into twin, up-side-down smiles.

She stands;,a solitary figure amidst a great stretch of rolling lawn – a graveyard that has not yet received internments. Surrounding her – uniformly and purposely spaced – ancient, solitary trees lift their age-roughened branches skyward. Pale spring light glides like youth through the trees’ slow-budding limbs.

And Irma – hands clasped; standing in her own shadow; light glancing off her glasses’ lenses – Irma smiles.


— C.Birde, 4/18


Forest in Hand — A Poem


“Forest” — C.Birde, 4/18


Back bowed

to warming sun;

knees pressed

to earth –

withdraw each

tender seedling

from crisp,


leaf litter;

tug at that


at each pale,


stem and root

until –

unwilling –

the fibers


Each pliant,

wrinkled leaf

a world

of innate


One hundred.

Two hundred.


To right,

moving headfirst

down the

parent tree,

Nuthatch watches,


while Chickadee,

to left,

muses over

nest sites.


forest in hand.



of life


in a small,


of youngling




— C.Birde, 4/18


Beak & Hood — An Image

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“Skunk Cabbage” — C.Birde, 4/18




in the company

of scavenging insects.

The lowly and marvelous

skunk cabbage

lifts beak and

mottle-hooded bloom

as –

year by year –

contractile roots drill

beyond its bed of mud

and deeper into



— C.Birde, 4/18




Confirmation — A Poem


“Maple Bloom” — C.Birde, 4/18


A pair of crows –

fragments of night,

dark clad and

shining –

pluck the maple’s

red confetti


Pass below.

Scatter robins

through last year’s

fallen leaves.

Bound and bonded

to earth,

accept the drift

of sooty corvid voices,

of scarlet petals –

blessings of slow



— C.Birde, 4/18


Impatience — A Poem


“Impatience” — C.Birde, 4/18


Unfold the day —

careful of seams and

edges —

and spread it over

the breakfast table

where south-facing

bay windows

permit brooding

morning light.

Consider the rain,

the pattern of beads

that slide down

uniform squares

of glass.

Wait —

patiently impatient —

for the espresso pot’s




— C.Birde, 4/18


Espresso pot.png

C.Birde, 4/18


Stone Fish — A Dream


“Stone Fish” — C.Birde, 4/18


The room is large; a bare rectangle of space, carved from sandstone and most certainly underground. A twenty-foot ceiling yawns overhead. The walls to left and right span forty feet, while the rear wall disappears into unstructured darkness.

Ahead, a large rectangular tunnel — twice as wide as it is tall — peels open the forward wall’s blunt face. This extends into gradually thickening dark; bends sharply left into a disruption of broad shafts of dusty, golden light.

Notice, at length, the carving above the tunnel’s entrance. The room’s only decorative feature — a meticulous stone replica of a carp’s head, its scales and gills and bulging eyes polished to matte smoothness. Long whiskers fringe the stone fish’s slightly open mouth – mid-breath, mid-speech.

The floor is warm, slightly gritty underfoot; the air, still and without scent. Remain rooted, motionless, within the tomb-like, womb-like space. A column of flesh, surrounded by stone, enfolded in half-light and absolute silence.





— C.Birde, 4/18