Cetaceous Sleep — A Dream

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“Cetaceous Sleep” — C.Birde, 12/17

 

Constricted view, consumed by clear blue sea, purled in white wavelets. Beneath that glittering, glassy surface rests a great, moon-pale shape, its smooth contours distorted by distance, by the sea’s subtle, internal motion. A whale. See the massive, blunt curve of head, dimpled by sealed blowhole; the sleek, muscled immensity of its body; the gradual narrowing and reshaping of form that results in the great, flattened fan of its tail.

With the ocean piled high and deep, drawn up over it, the whale sleeps. Adrift. Blissful. Content.

Soundlessly, the battleship materializes. It is not there; and then – in the next breath, thought, heartbeat – it simply is. Dull gray; wedged front; a single, monolith turret at its center. Obscene in length, the ship hovers – airborne – above the rippled ocean, casts its shadow down and through the sea, over the sleeping whale.

A moment, only, before it descends.

The ship’s keel parts the waves. Its hull flattens the ocean’s surface, sends sheets of water arching, waves thundering seismically away. Immediately, the battleship is swallowed whole and sinks rapidly, crushingly down. A herculean depth charge aimed directly at the creature beneath it.

Impossible, improbable, infuriating silence as the ship gathers downward speed.

Collision is assured.

The whale sleeps.

Unaware.

 

— C.Birde, 12/17

 

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Improbably Deer — A Dream

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“Improbably Deer” — C.Birde, 11/17

 

A mere twelve inches at the shoulder, fourteen inches in length from chest to tail, it is the smallest of white-tailed deer. And so young – its tawny coat is sprinkled with white dots. It stands on impossibly slender legs. With a flick and flash of its tail, it gathers together its tiny hooves to leap and prance and dart about. For sheer joy, it cuts reckless, random patterns through the swaying meadow, beneath the dividing shade of towering trees.

At last, it pauses – gawky legs spread and anchored, tail raised, ears alert – an arm’s length away. Reach out to stroke it, to feel the silken fur stretched over that delicate structure of bones; to feel the small knob of skull, that firm reassurance crowned in large, fur-fringed ears.

Away. Away.

Fleet as forethought, the fawn leaps beyond reach, dashes in mad circles through wind-blown grasses. Scissoring through wildflowers, it cuts back and forth in indecipherable movements. Upon reaching the base of a great, thick oak, the deerling whisks up the tree’s grooved trunk. Tiny hooves serve as pitons fitted to the bark’s cracks and fissures.

Hand’s edge raised to shield your eyes, lean back, squint to follow its wild movement. Spy a flash of auburn within the canopy overhead. Hear the scrabble of its hooves against trunk and branches. Catch the sift and fall of loosened bark against your upturned cheeks, chin, lips. Feel a fist-solid pressure rise beneath your breastbone.

Lost.

 

— C.Birde, 12/17

 

Thoughts & Wild Rabbits — A Poem

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“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

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“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

 

Girl-Eyed Doe — A Dream

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“Girl-Eyed Doe” — C.Birde, 9/17

 

 

Driving. The road ribboning out ahead, onward. A blur of green trees to the left, cool with shadow, leaves rustling. To the right, open fields echoing the trees’ green pulse.

She found them in her yard.

The car’s open windows gathering his words; spreading, elongating, lifting them away.

Two fawns. The mother never returned for them.

On the right, in the distance, a low structure resolving. Beyond the field’s edge – a café. Bright white flash of walls. Glassless window casements stretching from foundation to roofline. Over the low wall, a fawn leaping out one of the wide-open casements. Stick-thin legs extending over grass, bunching, and tangling. The fawn collapsing – an angular heap of pale rust fur within the field.

Crunching of tires on gravel. The car pulling over, stopping on the shoulder. Opening the door. Jumping out. Running across the field, legs eating up ground, arms lifting. Outwards. Toward the fawn.

Don’t be dead don’t be dead.

A woman exiting the café, reaching the fawn and scooping it up. Cradling it in her arms; the fawn, struggling, kicking.

Arriving, breathless, beside them. Noticing, over the woman’s shoulder, the second fawn inside the café, standing on a bistro table.

So wonderful that you’ve saved them!

The woman stroking the fawn’s narrow skull. The fawn, laying its head against her shoulder, against the spill of her dark hair. She, kissing its forehead.

It was the only choice.

The woman turning, walking back to the café, setting the fawn down near its twin; draping her arms over each.

Following. Entering the windowed/windowless building. Approaching the table, and the woman, and the fawns. Observing all three slowly turning. Seeing the fawns’ faces clearly. Gasping aloud. Staring at those flat, identically stamped oval faces.

The creatures staring back – fawns with the faces of sober young girls. Ringleted hair tumbling to either side of their large, tufted, twitching ears.

 

— C.Birde, 9/17