Depart/ed — A Dream

“Road” — C.Birde, 8/20

As in the way of dreams, two realities –

he has died;

he walks, straight and tall, beside me.

In death, two versions, also –

the one, all six-foot-tall of him rolled on his side

and bent in awkward, fetal curl,

hooked in blue-tinged dark to chirping, electric machinery;

the other, seated on ivory leather couch, in sunlight drenched,

a shotgun gripped, tripod-like, between legs and knees;

his long toes feel and finger the trigger’s curve.

In both cases, one consistency –

he is alone.

And yet,

and yet

Together we walk this long road of soft pale soil

that uncurls toward the huddled town below.

As that unknown hamlet slowly resolves,

he tells me of his death,

his dying;

of the messages he left for her

– the youngest –

to find.

Clues.

Scrawled in small, cramped hand on slips and scraps of paper,

neatly folded into white envelopes to be opened

– one each year –

on his death day’s anniversary.

We walk together, he and I.

I hear his voice — a rasp against my ear —

and the ocean’s waves that break themselves

against gray sea walls.

And, as in the way of dreams,

though separated by time, location, distance,

I see her

– the youngest –

in open room full of soft-lit windows;

see her lean against that same couch of ivory.

Though separated,

I see her finger run beneath an envelope’s flap and

break the seal.

Excitedly, she reads;

while he and I reach the outskirts of that sleepy town.

Here, the air smells of salt and sea.

Here, the wind finds my hair, my cheek.

And here, undeterred, he walks beside me;

but no longer does he

speak.

— C.Birde, 8/20

Together — An Image

“Wood” — C.Birde, 7/20

“Together,” she sang,

  “Always together. 

Regardless of where we stand.

  We walk together.

Hearts. Thoughts.

Hands forever at work.

Each act and choice and step

a kiss, a bruise pressed

to this precious skin of land.”

— C.Birde, 7/20

Fragments — A Poem

“Fragments” — C.Birde, 7/20

Fragmented

space

time

breath

Fragmented

world

life

self

Collected

slips

scraps

snatches

Collected

lines

threads

words

All,

palm-cupped

heart-fastened

clasped

like

dust

sea-glass

pebbles

cicadas’ spent

shells

Reworked

refashioned in

imperfect

whole.

This tenacity,

this persistence,

this work of

being.

— C.Birde, 7/20

Lydia — A Dream

“Forest Green” — C.Birde, 7/20

Seven months

since last we met.

Five months since…

Since

Yet even in passing glance,

even at distance –

familiar.

Stature & gait;

wave of dark, curled hair;

eclipse of cheek –

familiar.

The shade of dress alone

speaks of difference –

uncharacteristic green

of emeralds,

of deep woods

thickly forested in memory

& being.

A color that suits you,

becomes you.

But…

Away, you stride,

path cleared of obstacles.

Unshackled.

Freed.

And I –

bumped & jostled

by this noisome,

swallowing

crowd –

though I call out,

though frantically,

I wave,

you neither see nor hear;

continue on your

way.

I missed you.

I miss you.

Seven months

since last we met.

Five months since…

Since

— C.Birde, 7/20

Rain — An Image

“Rain” — C.Birde, 7/20

“I am the rain,”

her voice pattered

amongst the leaves,

“slaking & soaking,

praised & cursed.

I am a multitude –

of oceans,

of voices;

raising & eroding.”

She touched my face.

“I accept,”

she hushed,

“your tears.”

— C.Birde, 7/20

Remorse & Redress — A Poem

“Blue Jay” — C.Birde, 7/20

Campanula blue

inverted bloom of

wings and feathers,

earthward pointing,

fluttering

drooping

Each hollow bone

transformed

to ballast,

recast as gravity’s

servant

Trapped,

held fast by stem

of foot,

scarlet beaded,

bleeding

Unintended consequence

Peace, dear fellow creature,

peace

Cease your valiant struggles

and suffer me

(rueful instrument of

your snaring)

to set you

free.

— C.Birde, 7/20

Advice from a Friend — A Poem

“Prayer” — C.Birde, 7/20

Who spoke those words…?

Gently,

gently she insists

it was not her

(though they sound so like

a consolation

she might offer up to soothe

discontented

nerves.)

Sly mystery.

No solution other than

the words themselves.

Expectation versus serenity…

Vice versa.

For mercy’s sake,

for sense of self,

arrange them

properly.

— C.Birde, 7/20

Wasp & Window — A Dream

“Confined” — C.Birde, 7/20

Confined.

Trapped

within the porch,

the wasp batters

itself against watery

glass seeking

nonexistent

exit.

Black,

self-waisted body;

six maroon appendages

waving.

Uselessly,

furiously,

determinedly seeking

what cannot

be found.

The wasp batters

itself against watery

glass.

The wasp batters

itself.

The wasp batters.

Batters.

B

a

t

t

e

r

s.

— C.Birde, 7/20