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


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 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…


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


You think

I know the way


I think


— C.Birde, 5/22

Parley — A Dream

A pencil sketch portrait of a anamorphic Wyvern.
“Wyvern” — C.Birde, 4/22

When deep underground

in vast subterranean caverns

that drip with moisture &

winged shadow & echoes

of past, present, &

oh-so-uncertain futures –

do not attempt to parley

with Wyverns;

Nostrils seeping brimstone,

they will sit quietly grinning

across the conference table’s

great gleaming length of wood

& agree to every- & anything

that creates a sense of ease…

All to their own strategic


An exercise,

for you,

in utter


— CBirde, 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

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,


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


a scritch-scratch-scritch

(behind, within)

of something trapped,


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


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

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


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


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


three doors reside deep-

set in the flock-papered

wall –




each framed in carved

white painted wood.

Open –


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 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)…



& firmly close the door.

One remains,

one only –

a shining scarlet mystery

waiting in plain sight –




All potential wittingly


— C.Birde, 3/22

Lydia’s — A Dream

An artfully altered photo of a fawn, lying curled amidst green growth.
“Fawn” — C.Birde, 5/21

To lie

in soft grass,

slim green tongues


against ankles,

arms, & legs,


through hair &

white gauze gown

Body curved –

O, earthbound slip of

crescent Moon –

about the creature’s

small & delicate form

Tawny-furred &


large soft ears

folded back against

elongated skull,

stilt legs bent

at sharp angles,

tail & flint hooves


And to know,

all in a rush –

like song & sunrise

& oak groves &

oceans –

that, in life,

this fawn was Hers

was Hers

H e r s

She is gone two years.

But O, Her fawn


— C.Birde, 2/22

Boa of Light — A Dream

An artful altered photo of  a journal page with a line drawing of a seahorse...
“Boa of Light” — C.Birde, 2/22

From above,

a boa of light descends

to encircle her neck

& drape her left shoulder –

l o o s e l y


within this buoyant

tumble of golden light,

innumerable seahorses –

bobbing, swimming –

necks tucked inward,

tails curling, uncurling,

dorsal & pectoral fins

fanning air & propelling

delicate-ridged bodies

back upstream

to the light’s source

Amidst this,

she sits, smiling,


in the seahorses’

gyre & shimmer,


in the radiance

of her own








— C.Birde, 2/22

Archie Leach — A Dream

An artfully altered photo, taken of a television screen while watching a movie, of Cary Grant.
“A.Leach” — C.Birde, 1/22

Who are you to me,

Mister Leach?

That you glide

from nostalgia’s

silver screen?

Stride languidly

through Dream plains

of wild Psyche?

Debonair in style,

urbane of gesture,


& Brylcreemed

to characteristic


utterly untouched

by Time’s pitiless


Coy-smile flirtation


searching for…


Dream within dream,

thrice calling.

Ever & always welcome,

dear Mister Leach –

please, do visit again.

Still, waking curiosity


Who are you to me?

— C.Birde, 1/22