Wounds — A Poem

A close up augmented photo of a Bleeding Heart's single bloom.
“Bleeding Heart” — C.Birde, 2/21

Lodged

between the ribs

So near the heart’s

sweet beating

Ember

of doubt and fear

Smoldering

Compressed &

prone to flare

at least provocation

Legacy of grief

Invisible

Unseen

Forged so long ago

Catching at all

kindling

Acknowledge it

Smother it

Cover it or

cut it out

It won’t be doused

Ever raw

Lodged & always

burning.

— C.Birde, 2/21

New Year, Old Friend — A Poem

A bare-branched Linden tree, brightly lit, against a clear-blue winter sky.
“Old Friend (Linden)” — C.Birde, 1/21

Keep at the chase,

the resplendent lights

and roar

of externalized joy

slipping –

annually,

perennially

through grasping

fingers…

Or…

Make a friend of sorrow

Shake its hand,

learn its curves

and contours,

its bruise-blue depth

and hue

Feel its familiar weight

softly brushed

against the shoulders’

curl

There is no shame here,

in acquaintance

of this humble keeper

of memory –

only an open door

to self-knowing,

a lifetime

of understanding,

recognized.

— C.Birde, 1/21

Burden — A Poem

“Peaches” — C.Birde, 9/20

Firm as fact.

Sweet as certainty.

My knife parts velvet skin,

slices through yielding flesh

to bite the channeled stone within.

Each taste, ripe and real.

Triumph over falsehood.

Antitoxin to hate.

Each taste, a tonic to these days

of discord.

Burden me –

O please, I beg you

burden me with the blessing

of Summer’s remaining peaches,

and I may indeed survive…

“Sliced” — C.Birde, 9/20

Threnody — A Poem

“Mourning Dove” — painting by Marie Nonnast Bohlen

My grief

is a mourning dove,

all hollow bones &

feathers.

Winged.

Near-weightless.

Poor tender, disconsolate

creature.

She curls talons against

her perch –

my heart –

pierces that soft muscled

chamber &

coos a mournful

song.

— C.Birde, 8/20

Ask… — A Poem

IMG_20200422_090512_056~2.jpg

“Nightstand” — C.Birde, 4/20

 

Ask

something concrete…

What books I’ve accumulated,

over the past five weeks –

eight, thus far:

three new; five used;

two classics;

one not yet received.

(Ask

for an illustrative

Venn Diagram.)

Ask

if the stack on the nightstand

leans –

those Dead Girls & Cousins

& Innkeepers & Unicorns;

the modern-day Persephone;

the House of Tremontaine

& Castle Gormenghast

all listing crookedly,

patiently,

waiting for Wintering.

Ask

how much I read –

two paragraphs each night,

maybe three

(the stack could last indefinitely);

a comfort of words,

in self-prescribed doses.

Ask

the tangible, the specific;

I’ll answer eagerly,

each query a forbidden fruit –

tart, acidic, honey-sweet.

But please –

oh, please –

avoid the vague,

the nebulous,

the hazy;

do not disrupt

this tenuous balance;

do not ask me

how I

am.

 

— C.Birde, 4/20

 

Specific Grief — A Poem

Reservoir in Pollen.jpg

“Surge” — C.Birde, 4/20

 

For You…

 

Each time we meet,

that specific grief

and I,

in some unexpected

curl of psyche,

it is always,

ever,

and again,

as if for the first time.

Like the rasp of thorn

or briar on skin

presumed whole,

unmarred,

unbroken —

fresh surge of pain;

scarlet bright.

When we meet,

my grief and I,

old friends reunited,

we embrace –

awkwardly,

so carefully –

and, as one,

we weep.

 

 

— C.Birde, 4/20

Exposed — A Poem

Hope.png

“Exposed” — C.Birde, 3/20

 

What shape

will healing take

and when might

the wound

reknit?

Reinforced with

steel & stone

Shattered glass

Crack’d bone

O,

nest of moss &

neatly woven

grasses

exposed to hope

to love again,

receive

us.

 

— C.Birde, 3/20