Empty — A Poem

Close up of a Hitchcock chair in a dining room.
“Empty” — C.Birde, 10/20

It’s not the same without you here.

I’m less inclined to sit and stare out

the open window

at the sweet-winged visitors amongst

bowed seedheads,

waiting for the words to find their way

through that oculus, transformed and

translated

upon the white page spread before my

fingertips.

I get up, instead, wander – shapeless,

aimless – into the kitchen and load

the dishwasher,

that dark and hungry box, like so many,

that must continually

be fed and filled with the mundane.

When I return, the empty chair remains.

Empty of –

    you.

— C.Birde, 10/20

Well Come — A Poem

“Autumn Wood” — C.Birde, 10/20

Sweet tang of autumn air,

cidery

cool enough to drink

through all the senses

Leaves fall like small fading

stars

to light the path ahead

forward into unknowing

I lift my cup to you in welcome,

dear heart,

and pour a second.

I have been

waiting.

— C.Birde, 10/20

In Shadow — A Poem

“Shadow of Spruce” — C.Birde, 10/20

Together,

apart.

We sit beneath

& within

the cool blue-green shade

of the great spruce tree,

with coffee &

grief &

glee,

& we feed all who come –

chipmunk & squirrel,

tufted titmouse,

jay & red-belly.

Hearts brimming,

undone,

we feed all who come.

Apart,

together.

My sister

& me.

— C.Birde, 10/20

A Question of Shadows — A Dream

“A Question of Shadows” — C.Birde, 10/20

They stand — all four of them — in a line;

shoulder to shoulder;

on green-grass sward in fading sunlight;

facing me

No instruments in hand –

neither mandolin nor fiddle nor cello;

no guitar, no bass, no banjo…

Empty hands clasped together before them,

they stand — all four of them — in a line;

shoulder to shoulder;

on a green-grass sward in fading sunlight;

facing me

Or is it a photo?

An antique square snapshot,

grown milky with age,

colors evaporating into a wriggle-edged white border

that frames them,

those four young men?

The lighting is wrong, the shadows off…

A dark circle pools at their feet,

conforming to no fixed source, natural or otherwise,

while simultaneously,

their cast shadows stretch from them,

toward me,

so long and lean and solid,

surely,

I should feel the weight of their touch,

heavy as silence…

— C.Birde, 10/20

The Sea — A Poem

“Acadia Sea” — C.Birde, 9/20

Always…

     always,

         forever & a day,

the sea at its base

heaving

breathing

exhaling salt spray

each deep indrawn breath

released

in swell & spume against

granite slabs & stacks,

blocks & columns…

And those longstanding stones,

grooved equally with age,

call out in reply:

Yes, oh yes…

Wear away our ancient bones…

Grind down our blades & edges…

Relieve us – bit by bit by bit –

of our ponderousness…

Blunt us… Smooth us…

Spread us out beneath your

foam-laced tide…

Grant us curves unknown,

unfelt before your touch

 ‘till we emerge,

reformed.

Always streaming,

     stroking,

           singing

in ceaseless gray-green respiration,

the sea accepts all pleas,

all hopes, all griefs…

laps & soothes & polishes…

Ever willing to oblige,

always,

     always,

         forever & a day,

    the sea receives,

survives.

— C.Birde, 9/20

Autumn — A Poem

“Beech” — C.Birde, 9/20

Crickets’ hypnotic trill & hum

Crisp-fizzling leaves & grasses

Hymn of gilt-edged, waning light

Cool air folds up the landscape

Sundials of hearts’ chambers slip

Summer’s flame-crown sputters

Grinning,

dancing,

Autumn comes to burnish

a new measure…

— C.Birde, 9/20

Golem — A Dream

“Aster” — C.Birde, 9/20

When

earth trembles &

that mantle of unmown grass –

lush &

green &

threaded through

with a purple fringe of wild asters –

separates from the soil of its making

to heave itself up up upright

on hindquarters of loam;

When

that vaguely humanoid shape,

soft-rubbed of keen features,

lurches with thick arms raised & sifting soil

to grope with blind,

blunted,

outstretched hands

like some unfathomably old

newly born golem of earth;

and When,

in umber-and-green-and-purple tide,

the shaken sward returns abruptly

to the soft mud of its recent birth

as if it never was…

Will its voiceless,

mossy,

desperate

roar have penetrated?

or will that thrashing cry have been dismissed

as dream?

— C.Birde, 9/20