Burden — A Dream

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“Burden” — C.Birde, 7/18

 

The room is too small, the ceiling too low. A living room – beige walls, soil-brown carpet; cramped and crowded with worn, shabby brown plaid furniture. A room too small for comfort, too small for living. Yet, a young woman sits on the floor, pulling at the carpet’s fibers; and a large, elderly woman sits, at the room’s center, astride…

…a horse.

An enormous horse. Beyond Draft or Belgian or Clydesdale dimensions. Beyond the room’s capacity to contain it. A horse so large the arch of its bowed neck approaches the ceiling’s cracked plane; so large, the round, fleshy woman it bears must hunker forward over its withers or strike her head.

The horse paces a slow circle with heavy, dragging hooves, wears away the carpet, step by step, thread by thread.

The woman astride the horse dismounts, hands over the reins. Scale the great creature’s side…try to maintain a seat…slide, forward and down, along the horse’s bent neck. Catch knotted handfuls of mane; clamp  knees to prevent inexorable decent.

The horse flattens its ears against its skull, peels back its whiskered lips to reveal large, yellow teeth. It rolls great dark eyes backward to survey — unkindly, impatiently — its new and unwieldy burden.

 

— C.Birde, 7/18

 

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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

 

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