The Swans — A Poem

“Swan” — C.Birde, 11/18

Four white bodies,


than Autumn snow;

sleek and blemishless

and smooth

as the far horizon;




and –

with each near-silent,

muscular stroke –


brisk air

to cream.



— C.Birde, 11/18

Mistaken Identity — A Dream

“Light” — C.Birde, 11/17


No. I don’t know any one by that name.

Yes, I’m certain.

Who said that…?

…but I don’t know any Raul…

He said what?


Well, that’s embarrassing…

Sure, fine, I guess it’s flattering…a little.

But any way, you must have misheard…

Then he means someone else.

I’m already married.

Fine, fine. I’ll follow you, but only around the corner.

No. This is far enough.

Yes, I can hear him.

Good grief…who talks like that? Is he reciting sonnets?

Rhapsodizing? You’re being dramatic…

No, this is close enough.

He can see me just fine… from his pillar…above the crowd…

God. Look at him…

Listen to him…




No, of course not.

I was not.

That’s ridiculous.

Besides, he doesn’t even recognize me.

I’m not the one he’s talking about.

I’m not the one he means.

I’m not the one.

I told you.




— C.Birde, 11/18

Conjuring Light — A Poem


“Conjuration” — C.Birde, 11/18



slips through our


Each hour of each day —

paler, thinner,

more threadbare than

its yesterday.


in solar flares,

our tongues regale each other

with half-remembered

tales of milder days —

songs of Crow and Centaurus,

and the Great Bear,

of the Herdsman

and his starry flock

spread across the night sky’s

vast backdrop.


we’ll pause together

at Winters’ gate and,





— C.Birde, 11/18


Separate Waters — A Dream


“Separate Waters” — C.Birde , 11/18


The bridge extends.

Below, to either side,

in frantic haste,

wide waters part.

We stride

in confidence,

reach the midpoint of the span

and cross beyond…


in headlong rush,

the tides return,

frilled with crashing


His name lodged in my throat,

upon my lips;

in fear,

I cry aloud

for his steadying hand…

Out of reach…

beyond reach…

A fury of water collapses, collides,

consumes my voice, my limbs,

my life.

A thunder of water


A wall of water



— C.Birde, 11/18


Fixation — A Poem


“The Trees” — C.Birde, 11/18



The occlusion exists,


resists clear sight.

We look, but do not see.

Focus trained myopically

on that bit,

that sliver,

that comfortable

shard of malleable truth.



Fleet glimpses of the whole

caught unexpectedly.

Insects trapped

in self-made amber —

dismissing whole forests

for the isolated



— C.Birde, 11/18

Feathers & Moonlight — A Dream


“Triptych Window” — C.Birde, 11/18


A cloak of feathers.

Tier upon tier – swan and goose and snowy owl.

It floats gently about the form;

delicately, restlessly skims shoulders, limbs, and torso.

White as the moonlight gathered

from that heavenly body adrift in the night sky.

Aglow, each feather gleams and shimmers in the otherwise darkened room.

A room of gray stone – heavy with antiquity – arranged to form a turret;

to form, on its exterior curve, a large bay of triptych windows.

Decorated with scrolling grillwork, each of that trio stretches upward

toward the ceiling’s inverted, conical peak.

Undressed, the windows beg the moonlight’s entry,



as if that tide of light could be denied.

Feathers — silver-limned, separate and together.

The satin-clad bed at the room’s center — softly aglow.

The seam of light that leaks past the bathroom door’s blunt rectangular face —


Voices beyond that door…


Ignore them.

Do not heed their whispering; their arguing, incessant hiss.

Do not listen or be distracted.

Return to the triptych window, to its stone seat and summons.

Rest upon its cushions – crushed velvet, indigo blue;

Sit, clad in feathers and moonlight,

beside the pair of over-sized and venerable gray rabbits.

Stroke the rabbits’ soft fur, until one hops down, away,

ducks to hide beneath the bed’s satin skirt.

Peer out the window, out into the darkling night

from within the turret’s giddy height.

Over silvered, grassy lawns so far below.

Past the castle’s humped and shadowed torso

to the turret opposite, twin to this.

See there?

Those triptych windows, lit to glowing beyond parted scarlet drapes?

Someone moves within that other room.

Bathed in brimming, golden light —

another soul.


— C.Birde, 11/18