Crows — A Poem

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“Norway Spruce” — C.Birde, 1/19

 

Remember

when we stood beneath

the great spruce,

faces tilted upward,

hands lifted to catch

their rough laughter

as it fell –

heavy as pinecones,

bright as crescents of

moonlight –

from those vast,

outstretched limbs?

Six years gone,

the tree cradles silence;

the absence echoes

forward.

We wait below;

patient;

hands

empty.

 

— C.Birde, 1/19

 

 

The Swans — A Poem

“Swan” — C.Birde, 11/18

Four white bodies,

whiter

than Autumn snow;

sleek and blemishless

and smooth

as the far horizon;

     extending,

          reaching,

               stretching,

and –

with each near-silent,

muscular stroke –

                    beating

brisk air

to cream.

 

 

— C.Birde, 11/18

Schism — A Poem

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“Little Hawk” — C.Birde, 9/18

 

Two weeks ago, three weeks early, he said goodbye.

A day after the incident –

Pale streak of feathers with talons, outstretched and efficient

Tangle of cries and silence caught within deer netting and ripening tomatoes

The scene unfolding beyond the bay windows, as, unwilling, I observed and thought (disjointedly) of Casablanca, the words re-working in my head

“Of all the birds, in all the yards, in all the world – the hawk has taken mine”

As I thought (unkindly), while running from the house in futile effort, of the multitude of House Sparrows whose numbers could bear thinning, my cries of negation to stop, avert, reverse the course of events and pluck those yellow claws from that small gray breast and separate the two – Little hawk (Sharp Shinned? Coopers? he will not tell me) from Gray Catbird – to unwind time and heal the wound…

Above me, despite me, beyond my reach and will and pleas, Little hawk wheeled away with his prize – young parent to this year’s only fledgling.

 

The burning bush, previously a-shiver with activity, is still.

The pergola, with its unrestrained clematis vines, remains empty.

The container of raisins sits on the counter, untouched, unshared.

Two weeks ago, three weeks early, he said goodbye —

my small avian friend of untold years —

A day after the incident.

Next year, next spring — so far off —

will reveal if he’ll return

again.

 

— C.Birde, 9/18

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“Catbird” — C.Birde, 9/18

 

Falling Above — A Poem

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“Above” — C.Birde, 5/18

 

Overhead,

above –

an earthward

tumble

of song and

smoke,

d

o

w

n

through budding

trees.

Two small birds,

a palm’s worth

each…

Beating wings.

Knitted,

knotted feet.

Rivals –

singing,

calling,

 falling

d

o

w

n.

For one fleet

moment,

I might

be crowned,

adorned in

feathered,

kinetic

strife.

 

— C.Birde, 5/18

 

Returned — A Poem

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“Window” — C.Birde, 5/18

 

Like a young

creek –

bouncing & jaunty,

erratic;

Like morning

light –

spangled & bright,

yet vaporous;

His song

accompanies dawn,

trips through the air,

&   g l i d e s   through

the second-story

window

to announce

his arrival…

Spring is absolute

now

Catbird is

returned.

 

 

— C.Birde, 5/18

 

Confirmation — A Poem

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“Maple Bloom” — C.Birde, 4/18

 

A pair of crows –

fragments of night,

dark clad and

shining –

pluck the maple’s

red confetti

blooms.

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

progress.

 

— C.Birde, 4/18

 

Landlocked Lies — A Dream

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“Landlocked Lies” — C.Birde, 1/18

 

An antique city, all sharp curves and unexpected angles. Filigree cast-iron gaslights line the wide sidewalks. Worn stone buildings, carved in relief, march along cobblestone streets…

There, across the street, one corner building curves back sharply on itself in a flatiron shape. Narrow alleys slide past, follow its long sides out of sight. Here, the streets are thick with a clamor of people – they spill out onto the cobblestones, eddy back and forth in incessant motion. All except one woman, who holds and defines her own space within the human river. Stationed before the flatiron building, she is dressed in a formal riding habit of tailored black velvet jacket and long skirt; a high-collared white shirt with lace at neck and sleeves; a veiled, men’s style top hat; and low-heeled hook-and-button boots.

While the sea of people swells around her, she cries out suddenly, calls attention to the “Little Green Heron” she has found! Such a surprise! Such an unanticipated and marvelous happenstance! Indeed, a medium-sized semi-aquatic bird waddles near her —  it pulls occasionally at her skirts with its long, narrow, hook-ended beak. Most ignore the woman’s exclamations. But the crowd constantly reinvents itself with new folk, and gives her renewed opportunity to draw any attention she can to the “Little Green Heron”.

But it is not a Little Green Heron at all; it is clearly a double-crested cormorant. In addition, there is no reason she should be at all surprised at its proximity, for each time she crosses from one curb of the narrow corner to another, she reaches inside her riding habit and pulls out a small fringed, burgundy purse that is filled with fish. With a gloved hand, she rations morsels to the sleek-feathered black bird that shuffles its webbed feet over the cobbles and struggles to keep up.

 

— C.Birde, 1/18