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

Fledging Wisdom — A Poem

An artfully altered photo of a cluster of hot pink miniature roses.
“Roses” — C.Birde, 8/21

There –

there it is…

Rub of grit

Scrape of coal


at the center

of all things


in the rose’s

soft pleated heart


in summer’s blue

unclouded sky

Gather it up,

this unfledged


Safeguard &

croon to it

Greet it gently &

grant it

a safe space

to root &


— C.Birde, 8/21

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

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.


Exceed those strictures;

self-defined exuviae

at last outgrown.


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



— C.Birde, 9/18


“Catbird” — C.Birde, 9/18


Doubt — A Poem


“Doubt” — C.Birde, 8/18

(For Lena.)


Thirst or


Confusion, pain, or


The differences are


secret, subtle;


Tell me the way.

My ear —

seeking answers,

guidance —

bends toward



— C.Birde, 8/18


Residue — A Poem


“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


in howl and echo.

I came undone.

Nothing remained

but time and space,

and the residue

of flint-hard hope

to begin



— 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.



lift and release each one.

Swaddle it,


Match that rapid pulse

and stroke

the dampened fur to warmth.

Speak tenderly into the

long, listening ears

of love and

love and



— C.Birde, 11/17