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

Restless — A Poem

An artfully altered image, as if formed in a kaleidoscope.
“Restless” — C.Birde, 4/22

Head full of noise

& unrelenting image

Kaleidoscopic colors

shift, alter

Scarlet, eggplant, umber

interrupted

Bright flashes of noise,

(pop of old house bones)…

Wind caught in trees

trapped, released

to whoosh free ‘round

blunt corners

Coyotes’ not-so-distant,

mournful song

Something else,

something other

(unidentifiable)

calls…

Sleep arrives at last…

then dreamsdreamsdreams

in concussive,

     hectic

           tumble.

— C.Birde, 4/22

Still Life — A Dream

An altered photo of a panel of pale ocher yellow wainscoting.
“Ocher Panel” — C.Birde, 4/22

Unrestricted, vernal light

pours through bay windows’

oblique angles…

Alights in canary-yellow

flowers caught,

arranged

mid-flight at the breakfast

table’s center …

Light laps wide floorboards

of polished, honeyed oak;

wainscoted walls of ocher…

And, at last,

splashes up upon a board

in the corner of that low-

paneled wall that emits

(listen!)

a scritch-scratch-scritch

(behind, within)

of something trapped,

hidden,

concealed away

from such profuse display

of gilding…

The inset section trembles,

shivers, shifts, glides back

upon itself into the wall,

reveals a hollow space

that holds a child…

A child who, in turn, holds

a pale fluff of smallish kitten

(rabbit?)

snug against her sternum…

Who looks up, surprised,

to be rescued at long last,

released from confinement

(days, months, years?)

blinking darkness from

wide eyes.

— C.Birde, 4/22

The Month of Mars — A Poem

An artfully altered photo looking up the trunk of an old, bare-leafed oak tree, its torso stroked with shadow.
“Oak, March” — C.Birde, 3/22

O, March —

mercurial & a-brim with bluster

Encompassing

emotions’ scope, depth, & wide,

sweeping swings

Animate

Empathic

Passionate & weeping aloud

the world’s griefs,

shouting its humble victories

Accept me –

nearly as buoyant,

at turns razor-edged &

tearful in my seclusion;

your mortal expression,

your devotee.

I am yours.

— C.Birde, 3/22

Transformations — A Dream

A graphite line drawing of a masked woman squatting hunched with feathers growing from her arms, her hands and feet tipped in birds' claws.
“Transforming” — C.Birde, 3/22

I, a white-masked cipher curled

above the rusted pump within

old wisteria’s protective weave

& tangle,

I, a shadow leaning out beyond

the curtain of dry shadows’ twist

(feel the subtle separating prick

of pinfeathers’ growth forming

& transforming)

My bent neck lengthening from

hoary vines’ obscuring traceries

to better see beyond the mask’s

silk-ribbon-tassled boundaries

through soft-tumbled dark,

Two girls rapidly approaching,

two pairs of eyes wide-open

in faces upward tilting, &

two pairs of small hands lifting,

cupped & empty,

(to be filled? or hopeful offering?)

I, stretching further from wisteria

above the pump’s fixed drip drip

dripping to peer, beak-mouthed,

at splayed moth-pink palms

My auriculars hearing the voice

that scolds & calls from whence

the two girls emanated

My own clear-sighted eyes blinking,

behind the white mask seeing

their reluctant turning,

small hands falling slack against

their sides like dimmed clusters

fading

My cipher-self retreating to roost

concealed from undesired view

in wisteria’s curtaining tangle,

as the Scold approaches,

Folding new-feathered wing-arms

long against ribs & hips

(mid-transformation)

Reaching keen, claw-taloned tips

back toward the coverts of upper-

& undertails,

toward stub-tailfeathers’ oh-so-slow

inevitable forming

I, receding back into embracing

shadow & vines’ hushed rustling

while the abandoned pump drip

drip drips in trickle diminished,

yet always, ever flowing.

— C.Birde, 3/22

Scarlet — A Dream

An artfully altered photo of an exterior red door.
“Scarlet Door” — C.Birde, 3/22

Side-by-side-side,

three doors reside deep-

set in the flock-papered

wall –

     charcoal,

     green,

     scarlet;

each framed in carved

white painted wood.

Open –

     slowly

the charcoal door…

descend a shaft

of cinderblocks &

open-tread stairs

where below –

thickly wreathed

in coiling smoke –

a rust-&-iron cauldron

of daunting girth

bubbles unattended,

waiting,

     waiting to be stirred…

Back upstairs,

the green door waits…

creep down to find

a bright potting shed

where two cruel men

shift sharpened gazes

from a downcast girl

(she trowels dark earth

into cracked clay pots,

her denim overalls

streaked in the same);

in gleeful anticipation,

they seize upon their

new target with words

deriding & laughter

scraping up the stairway

(under the unseen

spider’s nest)…

Away,

     away

& firmly close the door.

One remains,

one only –

a shining scarlet mystery

waiting in plain sight –

unaddressed,

unapproached,

unaltered.

All potential wittingly

ignored.

— C.Birde, 3/22