Glove — A Dream

A close-up photo of an adult cicada.
“Cicada” — C.Birde, 8/22

I wore,

on my right hand,

a glove of cicadas –

glittering,

shimmering,

whirring in patterns

improbable…

A glove of dialogue,

& movement,

& transformation

undeniable…

And when I tried

to release my hand,

my fingers,

of those shrill insects,

they clicked

& chittered

& shifted

& sang;

with buzzing intent,

they bit

& stung;

endured as one;

would not be

shaken off or free,

denied or dislodged,

but rather would

r e m a i n.

— C.Birde, 8/22

Traffic — A Dream

An artfully altered photo of cars set against a mural background.
“Traffic” — C.Birde, 8/22

No matter

that I have no map,

no navigation system…

that the warp & weft

of intersecting highways

remains incomprehensible,

& the frantic push & pull

of traffic sweeps me along

with tidal force…

that strobes of light –

red & white & cautionary

yellow –

stream past in a confusion

of glancing blurs

reflecting off windshields,

steel-gray paneled bodies,

side- & rearview mirrors

dim with rain & half-light…

No matter.

I have foreseen

my arrival,

     all the same.

Woodlawn,

     I am coming.

— C.Birde, 8/22

Excavation — A Dream

An artfully altered photo of a romantically derelict Irish castle.
“Cathedral” — C.Birde, 7/22

We ascend the gradual slope

of polished stone set between

transparent knee walls

(fingers trailing

brushed aluminum rails)

& leave behind

the noise & commotion

of lights & shops & cafés,

the bustle of others’ motion

& intent.

Here,

we pause to peer beyond

the glass-walled enclosure

of dark earth,

excavated oh so long ago;

to peer at the ancient stone-

boned cathedral held within.

Ghostly spires rise through

dusted half-light;

buttresses span a space of time

unmeasured;

battered curtain walls defend

the sacred, hollow space within.

Alone.

Solitary.

No witnesses, but we –

he

&

me.

— C.Birde, 7/22

Wash — A Dream

An artfully altered photo of a reed basket sitting on green grass, half-filled with wooden clothespins.
“Clothespins” — C.Birde, 6/22

Wearing periwinkle

& faded denim,

hair hanging

(nearly)

to her waist in pale

drape of texture;

she stands outside

in soft-blooming

light,

clips glossy, new-

washed magazines

to the clothesline’s

drooping bow

where damp pages

dripdripdrip

themselves

to curling dryness

on the green

green grass

below.

— C.Birde, 6/22

Eye-to-Eye — A Dream

An artfully altered photo of an eye.
“Eye-to-Eye” — C.Birde, 6/22

The Other –

whose eye is so close to mine, I cannot see…

is it he, or she who studies me? –

remarks upon the color of the iris of my eye:

      “Hazel

in dim light;

      greener

in bright.”

My response:

      “I know.”

Yet, despite our intimate proximity –

quite literally eye-to-eye

I cannot see the color of the eye that peers      

at me.

— C.Birde, 6/22

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

below…

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.

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…

Ahead,

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

entrance.

You think

I know the way

forward?

I think

not.

— 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

advantage.

An exercise,

for you,

in utter

         futility.

— 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,

arranged

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

(listen!)

a scritch-scratch-scritch

(behind, within)

of something trapped,

hidden,

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

(rabbit?)

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