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

Transformations — A Dream

A graphite line drawing of a masked woman squatting hunched with feathers growing from her arms, her hands and feet tipped in birds' claws.
“Transforming” — C.Birde, 3/22

I, a white-masked cipher curled

above the rusted pump within

old wisteria’s protective weave

& tangle,

I, a shadow leaning out beyond

the curtain of dry shadows’ twist

(feel the subtle separating prick

of pinfeathers’ growth forming

& transforming)

My bent neck lengthening from

hoary vines’ obscuring traceries

to better see beyond the mask’s

silk-ribbon-tassled boundaries

through soft-tumbled dark,

Two girls rapidly approaching,

two pairs of eyes wide-open

in faces upward tilting, &

two pairs of small hands lifting,

cupped & empty,

(to be filled? or hopeful offering?)

I, stretching further from wisteria

above the pump’s fixed drip drip

dripping to peer, beak-mouthed,

at splayed moth-pink palms

My auriculars hearing the voice

that scolds & calls from whence

the two girls emanated

My own clear-sighted eyes blinking,

behind the white mask seeing

their reluctant turning,

small hands falling slack against

their sides like dimmed clusters

fading

My cipher-self retreating to roost

concealed from undesired view

in wisteria’s curtaining tangle,

as the Scold approaches,

Folding new-feathered wing-arms

long against ribs & hips

(mid-transformation)

Reaching keen, claw-taloned tips

back toward the coverts of upper-

& undertails,

toward stub-tailfeathers’ oh-so-slow

inevitable forming

I, receding back into embracing

shadow & vines’ hushed rustling

while the abandoned pump drip

drip drips in trickle diminished,

yet always, ever flowing.

— C.Birde, 3/22

Scarlet — A Dream

An artfully altered photo of an exterior red door.
“Scarlet Door” — C.Birde, 3/22

Side-by-side-side,

three doors reside deep-

set in the flock-papered

wall –

     charcoal,

     green,

     scarlet;

each framed in carved

white painted wood.

Open –

     slowly

the charcoal door…

descend a shaft

of cinderblocks &

open-tread stairs

where below –

thickly wreathed

in coiling smoke –

a rust-&-iron cauldron

of daunting girth

bubbles unattended,

waiting,

     waiting to be stirred…

Back upstairs,

the green door waits…

creep down to find

a bright potting shed

where two cruel men

shift sharpened gazes

from a downcast girl

(she trowels dark earth

into cracked clay pots,

her denim overalls

streaked in the same);

in gleeful anticipation,

they seize upon their

new target with words

deriding & laughter

scraping up the stairway

(under the unseen

spider’s nest)…

Away,

     away

& firmly close the door.

One remains,

one only –

a shining scarlet mystery

waiting in plain sight –

unaddressed,

unapproached,

unaltered.

All potential wittingly

ignored.

— C.Birde, 3/22

Lydia’s — A Dream

An artfully altered photo of a fawn, lying curled amidst green growth.
“Fawn” — C.Birde, 5/21

To lie

in soft grass,

slim green tongues

whispering

against ankles,

arms, & legs,

weaving

through hair &

white gauze gown

Body curved –

O, earthbound slip of

crescent Moon –

about the creature’s

small & delicate form

Tawny-furred &

white-star-spotted,

large soft ears

folded back against

elongated skull,

stilt legs bent

at sharp angles,

tail & flint hooves

tucked

And to know,

all in a rush –

like song & sunrise

& oak groves &

oceans –

that, in life,

this fawn was Hers

was Hers

H e r s

She is gone two years.

But O, Her fawn

endures.

— C.Birde, 2/22

Boa of Light — A Dream

An artful altered photo of  a journal page with a line drawing of a seahorse...
“Boa of Light” — C.Birde, 2/22

From above,

a boa of light descends

to encircle her neck

& drape her left shoulder –

l o o s e l y

See,

within this buoyant

tumble of golden light,

innumerable seahorses –

bobbing, swimming –

necks tucked inward,

tails curling, uncurling,

dorsal & pectoral fins

fanning air & propelling

delicate-ridged bodies

back upstream

to the light’s source

Amidst this,

she sits, smiling,

festooned

in the seahorses’

gyre & shimmer,

wreathed

in the radiance

of her own

h

 e

  a

    l

     i

      n

        g.

— C.Birde, 2/22

Archie Leach — A Dream

An artfully altered photo, taken of a television screen while watching a movie, of Cary Grant.
“A.Leach” — C.Birde, 1/22

Who are you to me,

Mister Leach?

That you glide

from nostalgia’s

silver screen?

Stride languidly

through Dream plains

of wild Psyche?

Debonair in style,

urbane of gesture,

smooth-suited

& Brylcreemed

to characteristic

perfection;

utterly untouched

by Time’s pitiless

transit

Coy-smile flirtation

Determinedly

searching for…

questioning…

Dream within dream,

thrice calling.

Ever & always welcome,

dear Mister Leach –

please, do visit again.

Still, waking curiosity

compels:

Who are you to me?

— C.Birde, 1/22