Wounds — A Poem

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

Lodged

between the ribs

So near the heart’s

sweet beating

Ember

of doubt and fear

Smoldering

Compressed &

prone to flare

at least provocation

Legacy of grief

Invisible

Unseen

Forged so long ago

Catching at all

kindling

Acknowledge it

Smother it

Cover it or

cut it out

It won’t be doused

Ever raw

Lodged & always

burning.

— C.Birde, 2/21

Cast Off — A Poem

The dried husk of a Japanese Lantern flower.
“Japanese Lanterns” — C.Birde, 11/20

Let go.

Cast off all

that no longer serves

but once served well

and now confines,

constrains the growth

of beating heart,

of wing and song.

Begone.

Exceed those strictures;

self-defined exuviae

at last outgrown.

Slip

restrictive shackles and,

through the atmosphere,

a s c e n d.

— C.Birde, 11/20

Undreamed — A Poem

“Undreamed” — C.Birde, 6/20

O, wanderer. Lost in honeysuckled dream vined sweetly ‘round wrists, half truths hard thumbed against eyelids, shadows lodged in thy white throat, & tongue embittered. Complicity of sleep & dreaming. Abrupt awakening to a world never gentler than it is or was or will be. Wings plucked & fallen. Heart bruised. Soul starved. Arrive at last, in full embrace.

Cracked open.

— C.Birde, 6/20

Schism — A Poem

Little Hawk Feather.png

“Little Hawk” — C.Birde, 9/18

 

Two weeks ago, three weeks early, he said goodbye.

A day after the incident –

Pale streak of feathers with talons, outstretched and efficient

Tangle of cries and silence caught within deer netting and ripening tomatoes

The scene unfolding beyond the bay windows, as, unwilling, I observed and thought (disjointedly) of Casablanca, the words re-working in my head

“Of all the birds, in all the yards, in all the world – the hawk has taken mine”

As I thought (unkindly), while running from the house in futile effort, of the multitude of House Sparrows whose numbers could bear thinning, my cries of negation to stop, avert, reverse the course of events and pluck those yellow claws from that small gray breast and separate the two – Little hawk (Sharp Shinned? Coopers? he will not tell me) from Gray Catbird – to unwind time and heal the wound…

Above me, despite me, beyond my reach and will and pleas, Little hawk wheeled away with his prize – young parent to this year’s only fledgling.

 

The burning bush, previously a-shiver with activity, is still.

The pergola, with its unrestrained clematis vines, remains empty.

The container of raisins sits on the counter, untouched, unshared.

Two weeks ago, three weeks early, he said goodbye —

my small avian friend of untold years —

A day after the incident.

Next year, next spring — so far off —

will reveal if he’ll return

again.

 

— C.Birde, 9/18

Catbird.jpg

“Catbird” — C.Birde, 9/18

 

Doubt — A Poem

Cosmic.png

“Doubt” — C.Birde, 8/18

(For Lena.)

 

Thirst or

hunger?

Confusion, pain, or

exhaustion?

The differences are

arguable;

secret, subtle;

mysterious.

Tell me the way.

My ear —

seeking answers,

guidance —

bends toward

silence.

 

— C.Birde, 8/18

 

Residue — A Poem

Residue.png

“Residue” — C.Birde, 12/17

 

I gave my cares

to the earth,

to the tumbled soil;

my fears

to the wind’s knife edge;

and my tears

to the rivers and

spreading sea.

A thudding grief

expelled

in howl and echo.

I came undone.

Nothing remained

but time and space,

and the residue

of flint-hard hope

to begin

again.

 

— C.Birde, 12/17

 

Thoughts & Wild Rabbits — A Poem

Wild Rabbit Fur.png

“Caught” — C.Birde, 11/17

 

 

The warmth and safety

of this moment,

this place,

are no defense,

nor the play of light splashed

against closed eyelids.

The unwelcome thoughts

leap —

small, wild rabbits

through the wire fence

of consciousness.

They should not fit,

become lodged half-way,

caught between life

and non-life.

Cut them free.

Gently,

gently

lift and release each one.

Swaddle it,

heart-to-heart.

Match that rapid pulse

and stroke

the dampened fur to warmth.

Speak tenderly into the

long, listening ears

of love and

love and

love.

 

— C.Birde, 11/17

 

 

 

Elegy — A Poem

Blue Jay, Elegy.jpg

“Elegy” — C.Birde, 10/17

 

Fallen,

folded.

Blue puddle of wings

and tail —

black-barred, white-tipped —

splashed on

the woodland floor.

Beak tucked

to feathered breast.

Perfection,

furled.

Earthbound.

Bear that elegy –

out,

away,

through green and yellow

leaf-filtered light.

Once-full-throated song —

a flutter,

a wound wedged

under wish-

bone.

 

— C.Birde, 10/17

 

Schrodinger’s Cat-erpillar

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“Eastern Tiger Swallowtail” — C.Birde, 9/17

 

Mystery,

wrought of

hardened protein

and spun silk,

it exists

in two states,

twice –

alive and dead;

caterpillar and

butterfly.

Each

a truth entire.

Until

the chrysalis splits

and butterfly

emerges.

Or does not.

Spun silk heart,

not yet hardened,

snug between ribs,

beating in

two states –

Hope and

Dismay.

 

— C.Birde, 9/17