Wisdom — A Poem

An artfully altered photo of a Garter Snake moving through the leafmold along the forest floor.
“Garter Snake” — C.Birde, 5/22

Four snakes –

Slim black

          ribbons

of tongue-

flicking,

flexible life

          scrawled

across my path:

Four compass

          points

of blessing

Four strokes

          of wisdom

Four opportun-

ities to shed

          my skin

& begin

          again.

— C.Birde, 5/22

Cut Down — A Dream

A photo of the base of a dogwood tree's trunk amongst green grass.
“Cut Down” — C.Birde, 5/22

Sleep interrupted

by strobe of lights –

red & blue & white

stroked in rotation

of flashes against

the ceiling …

Rise & slip

across the floor,

part the drapes,

& kneel –

forehead to glass –

at the window…

Peer out & down,

absorb the scene

below…

Police & fire &

emergency trucks

cluster in the rain-

flooded street…

People mill & study

their handiwork…

The dogwood –

stretched prone –

lies on wet grass,

a graceless knot

of limbs pricked

in pink blooms…

Twenty-six years

of growth,

cut down…

All that remains,

a ragged stump

in broken light

& rain.

 

— C.Birde, 5/22

 

Directions — A Dream

An artfully altered black-and-white photo of Stonehenge.
“Stonehenge, ’91” — C.Birde, 5/2

Don’t.

Don’t ask me for directions

as you slowly drive by,

one of a long line

in a ribbon

of cars.

I walk

barefoot through downpour &

darkness at the road’s edge;

mud & grit & gravel scour

the tender soles

of my feet…

Ahead,

Stonehenge lifts in pale light…

I stand

at the striped carnival kiosk,

sorting paper scraps from

nickels from bright gold-

foiled chocolate coins;

unable to purchase

entrance.

You think

I know the way

forward?

I think

not.

— C.Birde, 5/22

Immersion — A Poem

An artfully altered photo of hedges, trees, grass, and sky.
“Immersion” — C.Birde, 5/22

Youth’s coverlet of red

spread over green grass

sprigged with violets

Scarf of owls concealing

eyes closed against

the sun…

Inhaling

Blue Jay’s declarations

& Cardinal’s belling call

White-throated sparrow’s

soft query

& House Sparrows’

collective colloquy

Catching

Chipmunk’s mild distress

scratched & scuffled

against the downspout’s

hollow

While,

the Wind prowls overhead

like an enormous cat,

weaves in & out & through

spruce’s bristled limbs

& maples’ fern-laced leaves

& reaches  d

                     o

                       w

                          n  to pluck

the tassled, blue-gray scarf

of sheltering owls with wings

o u t s p r e a d.

 

— C.Birde, 5/22

 

Sunshine — A Poem

An artfully altered photo of a dandelion.
“Sunshine Dandelion” — C.Birde, 4/22

          Sunshine –

heatless word fed to

the Changeling to convey

complexity of feeling,

to sidestep

fine hairline breaks,

over Time’s span,

accumulating…

In a moment’s blaze,

the maze of eggshells

so long

& carefully cultivated,

crushed to powder

underfoot…

Each from the other

propelled in orbits

unanticipated beyond

a moniker’s bright veil

toward ashes

of that hopeful word’s

well-intentioned light

now drained of warmth,

darkly eclipsed,

extinguished,

          lost.

— C.Birde, 4/22

Recognition — A Dream

An artfully altered photo of a Sycamore tree against a blue sky filled with white clouds.
“Sycamore” — C.Birde, 4/22

Describe the Mother…”

     “Describe the Queen…”

Their voices overlapped,

     currents on a cerebral shore,

deep blue & green in refrain.

Without hesitation, he answered:

     “She stepped from the dark

hollow of a great white Tree

     fully formed & radiant,

an image shimmering with

     intensity – a sight to see.”

He paused to catch his breath,

     then continued, surprised:

“I knew her instantly.”

— C.Birde, 4/22