Whales and Wailing — A Dream

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“Whales & Wailing” — C.Birde, 8/17

 

The building is a single story, squat and square with walls made entirely of windows. Situated on the beach, it stares blindly over the great, gray stretch of ocean. Lace-edged waves lap and curl against the sandy shore. All seems tranquil, quiet. Stand before the barrier windows, though, hands pressed to the glass; glance left – the serenity is broken. A killer whale is caught in the shallow water, breached. Taut, sleek ,black and white skin runs with seawater. A pectoral fin lists skyward. The large mouth, arrayed with rows of sharp teeth, hangs slack – a shadowed pink cavern.

Howl an animal cry. For the waste of life. For the selfishness. For callous business decisions and profit margins that disregard the larger picture. For the tangled and interconnected web in which we are all a part. For compassionless, human hubris.

Howl again, in anguish while all those surrounding continue, unpreturbed, with their individual tasks. Heads bent over papers and devices, they remain unaware, detached. Unconcerned for the great creature’s suffering and passing; unmoved by the strangled human wail that issues from amidst their own.

All but one. She approaches. A little girl, wide-eyed and concerned. How old – eight, nine, ten? She feels it, too. The grief. The suffering. But her hand is firm, her touch warm. Her very presence anchors, halves the pain.

Cling to her. Don’t let go. Fight it. Together.

 

— C.Birde, 8/17

 

 

Small Storms — A Poem

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“Sunset Poppy” — C.Birde, 5/17

 

It is not the rain,

nor the drawn, pewtered sky,

but the unexpected rupture,

the rent calm and

aftermath of grief

that pulls,

tugs,

drags like teeth

through shorn grass.

The price of a heart

unbound.

Bear it.

Embrace it.

Sit with it —

an old friend come

to pay respects —

till inching hours blunt

the tooth-and-claw edges.

Ride it out,

like the small,

insistent,

significant storm

that it is.

 

— C.Birde, 5/17

 

 

Teacups & Thimbles — A Poem

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“Snowdrops” — C.Birde, 4/17

 

Dimpled,

silver thimbles,

nor expanding

seas

can contain our

unfolding griefs,

So let us sit —

eyes dampening,

knee to knee —

over cups of rosy tea

and drink

to all that is good and

precious and

beautiful

in the lives we

weave together,

separately.

 

— C.Birde, 4/17

 

Blades & Branches — A Poem

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“Branches” — C.Birde, 2/17

Again,

the grind

and grumble

of saw and blade

disturb.

Air parts,

earth trembles;

Bark,

phloem,

cambium,

sapwood,

heartwood —

bitten,

pierced

and chewed

in joyless

hunger.

Sentinel Maples

or Evergreen Guard,

Merriam or

Addis Oak,

Hickory

or Treebeard –

When next I walk,

whose absence

will

I mark?

 

— C.Birde, 2/17

 

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Heartache — A Poem

 

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“Heartache” — C.Birde, 1/17

 

Vulnerable organ,

the heart…

my heart…

mosaic of Being,

bound

by slim seams

of lead,

barbed-wire,

twining vines,

and foxfire.

At once

weakened

and strengthened

by each break,

each blow,

each love,

each unexpected

tear.

 

— C.Birde, 1/17