Departure — A Poem

A b&w photo of our little old, ball-of-fire, doggie, sleeping in a patch of sunlight.
“Josie” — C.Birde, 10/22

Run, run, run

     run free,

unfettered by mortality’s

pale restraints as,

when first we met,

you ran,

Electron made flesh

in four fleet paws that,

for seventeen years,

obliged earth’s gravity

in jovial orbit.

Run, run, run

     run free with yip &

click & jingle, & leave us,

dear Josie,

to the heartbreak

& surreality of your


— C.Birde, 10/22

A color photo of our little dog at six months old, on the rocky shores of Maine.
“Josie, 2006” — C.Birde, 10/22

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


Wounds — A Poem

A close up augmented photo of a Bleeding Heart's single bloom.
“Bleeding Heart” — C.Birde, 2/21


between the ribs

So near the heart’s

sweet beating


of doubt and fear


Compressed &

prone to flare

at least provocation

Legacy of grief



Forged so long ago

Catching at all


Acknowledge it

Smother it

Cover it or

cut it out

It won’t be doused

Ever raw

Lodged & always


— C.Birde, 2/21

New Year, Old Friend — A Poem

A bare-branched Linden tree, brightly lit, against a clear-blue winter sky.
“Old Friend (Linden)” — C.Birde, 1/21

Keep at the chase,

the resplendent lights

and roar

of externalized joy

slipping –



through grasping



Make a friend of sorrow

Shake its hand,

learn its curves

and contours,

its bruise-blue depth

and hue

Feel its familiar weight

softly brushed

against the shoulders’


There is no shame here,

in acquaintance

of this humble keeper

of memory –

only an open door

to self-knowing,

a lifetime

of understanding,


— C.Birde, 1/21

Dark Descending — A Poem

A room in darkness, seen through a layer of branch's shadows from outside.
“Dark” — C.Birde, 12/20

I feel it…

the slow creep

of oblique melancholia

that seeps beneath

the skin

as daylight slips,

eclipsed by dark.

Hours dim and dwindle,

smudged from each day’s

steady transit.

Hoarded light reclines

toward torpor,

awaits eventual


while in the interim,

I feel –

oh so keenly

its very


— C.Birde, 12/20

Burden — A Poem

“Peaches” — C.Birde, 9/20

Firm as fact.

Sweet as certainty.

My knife parts velvet skin,

slices through yielding flesh

to bite the channeled stone within.

Each taste, ripe and real.

Triumph over falsehood.

Antitoxin to hate.

Each taste, a tonic to these days

of discord.

Burden me –

O please, I beg you

burden me with the blessing

of Summer’s remaining peaches,

and I may indeed survive…

“Sliced” — C.Birde, 9/20

Threnody — A Poem

“Mourning Dove” — painting by Marie Nonnast Bohlen

My grief

is a mourning dove,

all hollow bones &




Poor tender, disconsolate


She curls talons against

her perch –

my heart –

pierces that soft muscled

chamber &

coos a mournful


— C.Birde, 8/20

Ask… — A Poem


“Nightstand” — C.Birde, 4/20



something concrete…

What books I’ve accumulated,

over the past five weeks –

eight, thus far:

three new; five used;

two classics;

one not yet received.


for an illustrative

Venn Diagram.)


if the stack on the nightstand

leans –

those Dead Girls & Cousins

& Innkeepers & Unicorns;

the modern-day Persephone;

the House of Tremontaine

& Castle Gormenghast

all listing crookedly,


waiting for Wintering.


how much I read –

two paragraphs each night,

maybe three

(the stack could last indefinitely);

a comfort of words,

in self-prescribed doses.


the tangible, the specific;

I’ll answer eagerly,

each query a forbidden fruit –

tart, acidic, honey-sweet.

But please –

oh, please –

avoid the vague,

the nebulous,

the hazy;

do not disrupt

this tenuous balance;

do not ask me

how I



— C.Birde, 4/20