An Earful — A Dream

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“An Earful” — C.Birde, 6/17

 

…And then, that distinguished gentleman, with his unruly fringe of white floss hair, in his pert bow tie and professorial brown tweeds, gave an inarticulate shout. He began to list over against his will, despite his best efforts to remain upright and erect, pulled by the increased weight and drag of his rapidly growing right ear. The organ expanded –from the size of a tea saucer, to that of a luncheon plate, a dinner plate, until, at last, it exceeded the size of a tea service tray. The elderly gentleman flailed his arms in wide, wild gestures, drawn earthward in a fashion that demanded he balance on one leg. “The mice! The mice!” he cried out. And from the auditorium’s wings dashed several young men in dark blue suits brandishing tweezers and chopsticks. In a wave, they surged toward the professor’s side and maneuvered about his enormous right ear in complex choreography – some moved to the rear and grasped him about the hips and shoulders to prevent the aged man from falling; others leapt to his left side and applied themselves to his raised left arm as ballast; while those remaining drew their particular tools and, with obvious care and practice, inserted them into the enlarged ear’s broad canal and withdrew, again and again, compact wads of soft gray matter. The young men flung aside the accumulated mouse-like wads with flicks of their supple wrists.

And all who witnessed gaped, astonished and astounded and – while endeavoring to preserve the tweed-suited gentleman’s threadbare dignity – visibly appalled.

 

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

 

 

The Endless Up — A Dream

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“The Endless Up” — C.Birde, 5/17

 

Climbing, climbing. The cement stairs – smooth underfoot, uniform – rising on and on, up and up, switching and curving back and forth in deceptively lazy sweeps, but ever, always up. Over varying landscapes – green forests, sunny glades, rolling hills; spanning lakes and rivers to continue their ascent. Eventually, leaving behind the wild, primordial, and untouched places. Trees transforming to steel I beams; hills to bricks and cinderblocks; waterways to chain link fences. Crowded now. People moving, elbow-to-elbow, hip to shoulder, climbing separately en masse.

The stairs continuing, lifting up into the wide blue, cloud-filled sky. Gradually, each step narrowing – two or three feet wide only. No security of enclosing walls. No handrails. A Dali-esque staircase rising, lifting, floating with no need of supports, anchored unto itself.

Unease creeping in. Worry. Fear of slipping, tripping – a misplaced foot, an endless plunge.

While the stairs are still connected, fastened to a small island of green turf, stepping off the stairs. Entering an enclosed, factory-style, industrial warehouse. Gloom and shadow, here. Feeble light leaking past smudged, yellowed windows.

Bustle of activity – people crouching over desks and counters, faces lit blue by computer screens. Interrupting first one young woman, then another. Neither looking up from their display, their skin washed pale with electric light. Their answers are the same.

There is no way back down.

There is no other stairway.

It is one-way only.

 

— C.Birde, 5/17

 

 

Chimera — A Poem

 

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“Blue Jay” — C.Birde, 5/24/17

 

Clad

in admiralty blue,

rank dabbed and denoted

in white and black,

he clutches,

in an executioner’s grip,

the limp featherless form

still pinked with the breath

of recent life.

Cloaked

in delft and gray,

eyes bright with a

sunset captured,

she is pursued and scolded.

And I,

a witness apart,

must remind myself –

there is

no malice present,

nor joy

in the other’s suffering.

There are

no monsters

here.

— C.Birde, 5/17

 

 

Seating Available — A Dream

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“Seating Available” — C.Birde, 5/17

 

Pink. Yellow. Lilac. Forget-Me-Not blue and tulip red. Brightly-colored chairs line the street’s edge like the flowers of spring. Each metal seat blooms on hollow tubular legs carefully curved and bent to provide support and a bit of bounce. Their backs are molded, fluted, and patterned with punch-outs. Parallel to both sidewalk and street, they are arranged over thick green grass with a casual grace. And though the street is wide, and the day is comfortable; though a gentle breeze stirs amongst the trees’ leaves and casts shadows into lazy movement; and though there is seating for plenty –  a dozen times over – each chair, without exception, is empty.