Youth-fall — A Dream

Screenshot_2020-05-11-10-44-13~2.png

“Cliff” — C.Birde, 5/20

 

Impressive feat –

to maintain verticality

complete

on the cliff’s sheer,

tiered,

limestone face…

Wearing black gear,

stamped white with

endorsements,

a boy on a bike,

pedaling furiously,

tirelessly.

The bike’s nubby,

rubber tires bite,

spray grit,

incise an ever-deepening

groove…

While,

stretched below,

beneath the cliff’s

jutting lip,

the sea sprawls

and waits

and heaves;

ultramarine

and green ;

swollen layers laced

and dimpled,

frothed white with

submerged spokes

and wheels

and legs

too numerous to count,

still churning…

Patiently,

the sea receives

the scree that spills

and spirals down,

down,

down…

accepts all offerings,

large and small,

as easily,

as hungrily

as any mortal boy’s youthful,

wide-eyed resolve.

 

 

— C.Birde, 5/20

 

Falling — A Dream

Screenshot_2020-05-04-10-46-19~2.png

“Falling” — C.Birde, 5/20

 

Blue sky.

Green land.

The structure

stands —

white face

bare of marks,

unblemished

but for one

blank,

black

cyclopean frame

that stares –

unblinking

out and down

the length of

wooden ladder

leaning –

scar-like

against its flat

and featureless

face.

From

that dark eye

a woman leans,

extends her leg,

her foot

to rest upon

the ladder’s rung,

shifts to set

its mate beside…

Crack!

Snap!

The steps –

one into the next –

collapse…

Legs stiff as spears,

the woman —

earthward

arrows.

A second woman

follows;

a third;

a fourth.

They fall

like stars,

like stones;

heaped upon

the earth below.

The last alone

tumbles free,

rolls from the pile,

skids gracelessly

at bruising,

breakneck speed –

unshod,

skirts hiked

feet-first down

the sloped

green sward…

Hear

the torn-turf

rumble of her

approach.

See

the fear

stamped clear

upon her face,

as she draws

near,

nearer,

n e a r e r

 

— C.Birde, 5/20

 

Ophelia — A Dream

Screenshot_2020-04-27-09-39-57~2.png

“Bath” — C.Birde, 4/20

 

 

Awaken –

suddenly,

splashingly

to that song

(despised),

that songster singing;

the alarm’s relentless

ringing

from the bedside as

(swiftly)

he departs

and addresses not

the wailing,

blaring

song.

Emerge.

Upward, surge

from watery warmth,

and rouse translucent

waves to tidal

lapping,

spilling,

slapping

over and past

the slipper tub’s

smooth sides

of porcelain

white.

Outward,

stretch;

extend one arm

(fingers streaming)

to reach and strike

(again!

again!)

the alarm’s

rigid,

buzzing,

boxlike

surface and silence

(at last!)

disharmony’s

jarring

blast.

Awake.

Fully wakened…

In blessed quiet,

become aware —

across the room —

of the calico’s cider

stare;

and —

beyond

the glistening rim

of the polished tub —

of the small dog

that deftly,

daintily dodged

the sluicing

flood pro-

duced.

 

— C.Birde, 4/20

 

A Me — A Dream

High Tower.png

“High Tower” — C.Birde, 4/20

 

 

How,

in dream,

can I know you?

With your eyes,

concentric rings

of brown and

blue chasing

‘round a pupil

so clear and

dark?

In dream,

so clearly

I see you clad

in silver starlight;

platinum hair,

a cascade that waves

about your shoulders

in halo.

You,

of the High Tower,

so utterly familiar

as a part of his

life,

not mine

(though here, now,

he knows you

not at all)

while in my

wakened state,

I reflect that

I have never,

ever

set eyes

on anyone

remotely like

you.

Surely,

I would

remember…

 

 

— C.Birde, 4/20

 

In-grain(ed) — A Dream

IMG_20200330_095107_411~2.jpg

“Book of Wood” — C.Birde, 3/20

 

Burdensome book,

made entirely of wood –

cover, binding, pages;

two inches thick,

maybe three.

A tome-ic weight

upon the lap,

the knees –

biting,

pressing,

depress-

ing.

Pages click

as readers flip

the rigid leaves,

select the word

that suits,

describes where,

in life, they find

themselves –

physically,

spiritually,

emotionally

& slide aside

small wooden tabs

to reveal

the associated page &

turn as indicated.

Click,

slide,

flip;

click,

slide,

flip.

Fall behind taking time

to consider,

to deliberate;

volume of wood

spread wide

across the knees…

Search row and line

for the word

that properly describes

the core of prevailing

sentiment…

To no avail.

Of the many words carved

in those manifold

wooden pages,

neither “grief”,

nor “sorrow”,

nor “melancholy”

are found.

Observe –

the others all

depart,

move on,

while one

remains,

left

behind,

a-

lone.

 

 

— C.Birde, 3/20

Row Round — A Dream

20200203_180714~2.jpg

“Sea” — C.Birde, 3/20

 

Quick.

Get in.

No time to spare.

We’ll row

row row the boat,

rosy, fleet, & lean

through the churning

choppy sea

to save the pink dol-

phins.

Row

row row the boat,

rosy, fleet, & lean,

grip the handles

dip the oars

& save the pink dol-

phins.

Repeat,

in rounds.

Repeat.

 

— C.Birde, 3/20

 

Yellow Stairs — A Dream

Screenshot_2020-03-16-14-27-36~2.png

“Yellow Stairs” — C,Birde, 3/20

 

Wait…

He pauses,

hesitates…

Were they always

there?

That set of stairs –

flaking yellow paint

& crumbling;

so unlike the house

from which

they quietly climb

away …

Those stairs

that burn pale

with jaundiced light,

& curve dustily

clockwise,

upward,

out of sight…

Uncertain,

he climbs,

each step releasing

a sifting,

chalky powder,

each step releasing

memory…

Until

On the landing,

peering beyond

the doorway’s open arch,

he views the room —

stark,

bare of ornament but

for one small, deep-set

window;

two twin beds thrust

hard against

the wall…

With grief,

a clutch of heart,

he remembers

all.

No place

for children,

for a child.

With flood & rush,

it returns &

he remembers.

O, he remembers

a l l.

 

 

— C.Birde, 3/20

 

 

 

 

 

The Second Story — A Dream

The Second Story.png

“The Second Story” — C.Birde, 3/20

 

Was it you?

Really you I saw

that day,

that night,

while I stood with the wind

in the rail lines’ slope

of scree and

scrubby weeds?

So many miles folded

between us,

yet so clearly

I saw you through

the window’s smooth panes

of glass two stories up

in that time-peeled,

wood-frame farmhouse…

You bent

to lift the kettle,

your back curved

like a scythe,

like the sickle moon,

and I said

(my promise traversed

the separating space

though I never raised

my voice)

I said that I would help

at a word,

a gesture –

drop the kettle;

thump the floorboards

with the broom’s handle,

with your heel…

I would help.

The words left my lips,

and I wondered how,

in this mortal world,

a ghost might manipulate

matter to be heard?

Our lines diverged.

Slow-strobing signal’s

flash.

Cinders’ sigh of

warning…

 

We were

to meet

for tea…

 

— C.Birde, 3/20

 

Beak-on — A Dream

Beak-on.jpg

“Beak-on” — C.Birde, 3/20

 

 

There…

Overhead…

A hiccup

of movement

within the vine’s

complex embroidery…

A small bird’s

flick and flitter;

the start and stop

of song,

rising,

falling

in swift,

mercurial tones…

Shape and sound.

Darkness caught

within darkness.

Until –

alighting

on pendent,

leaf-pricked coil –

with open beak,

it sings and —

in rippling song —

emits a

shining beacon

of light

that would challenge

day,

that illuminates

night.

 

 

— C.Birde, 2/20

 

Constriction — A Dream

Screenshot_2020-02-24-11-56-41~2.png

“Path” — C.Birde, 2/20

 

Follow

the path,

through wood &

moonlit dark,

along

smooth-set stones

well worn

with age.

Climb

the steps –

long & shallow,

silver-limned –

to the well,

squarely centered

amidst the pour

of flat stones

beneath

the arbor with

its twist of aged,

dark-rust

vines.

But –

there

curled around

the well

& draped

down the steps

in undulating

folds –

the snake

prevents

approach.

Mammoth

in proportions –

a hundred feet

in length;

three feet

in diameter –

it lies

like shadow;

near static,

but for

the stirring

of those caught

within it.

Three shapes

clearly identified –

FoX,

PumA,

Hound doG —

each living

& struggling

against confinement.

      “Cut them free!

      They’re still

      alive!” –

frantic exhortation

flung against

the night’s

deaf ears.

The dog —

most recently

consumed —

wags its long

brush of tail,

parts its jaws

&

audibly,

barks.

Yes.

Oh, please.

While they

yet live,

cut them

      f r e e.

 

 

C.Birde, 2/20