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Joseph E Bird

Let's talk about reading, writing and the arts.

Month

June 2017

on the brink

talk that is shocking with mocking and hawking
they say what they will, and neither one’s balking
cross over this line, i ain’t gonna blink
so much to lose, with war on the brink

minds that know all and know all to be
tell us what’s best, ‘cause we just can not see
your way is right, and there’s no other way
my voice must be silenced, i can’t even pray

.

so sing me a song
of the girl with the smile
whose laugh will stay with me
and linger a while

sing me a song
of our walk on the shore
i’ll think of her touch
and worry no more

.

fear that is chilling with a spirit unwilling
to stand for what’s right, and stop all the killing
the innocent too, will fall to their fate
because even the good, they must desecrate

hate that is righteous and noble and pure
just ‘cause you say it, does not reassure
love is a concept you can’t comprehend
and meek is a virtue that you won’t condescend

.

so sing me a song
of the girl with the smile
whose laugh will stay with me
and linger a while

sing me a song
of our walk on the shore
i’ll think of her touch
and worry no more


copyright 2017, joseph e bird

75 in Tehran.

09:30 PM, Eastern Daylight Time, St. Albans, West Virginia, USA.

Here, it’s 65º. Perfect sleeping weather.
In Cusco it’s 48º.
It’s 66º in Kiev.
At 9:30 in the morning it’s already 81º in Qingdao.
46 in Soweto.
75 in Tehran.
In Jerusalem, it’s 73.

Some are sitting at their computer.
Some are sleeping.
Some can’t sleep, worried about tomorrow.
This one is lonely.
Another is scraping together loose change for a drink.
A mother is worried about her son.
A father goes to work at his second job.
A child is very sick.
A boy meets a girl, and the world stops.

If it rains tomorrow, I can’t work.
If it doesn’t rain soon, the beans will die.
If it rains tomorrow, there will surely be floods.
If it doesn’t rain, the fires will rage.
If it rains tomorrow, we’ll dance in the puddles.
If it doesn’t rain, I’ll skip school.
If it rains tomorrow, I won’t have to walk to the well.
If it doesn’t rain, I’ll wear my new shoes.

Tomorrow we will rise.
We will go to work.
We will drink coffee.
No one will ask us what to do about
bombs,
or missiles,
or cyber warfare,
or identity theft,
or human trafficking,
or hunger,
or climate change.
Our world is small.
We just need to know if it’s going to rain.


copyright 2017, joseph e bird

wars, lies, ignorance, light

wars
and rumors of wars
and killings
and bombings
and shootings
and peace
that is nothing
but
a mirage

.

lies
and tales of deceit
and slander
and malice
and betrayal
and words
that are nothing
but
emptiness

.

ignorance
and shallow thought
and foolishness
and naivete
and banality
and ideas
that are void
of
wisdom

.

light
and shining brightness
and understanding
and truth
and hope
and peace
which passeth
all
understanding


copyright 2017, joseph e bird

tough guy

tough guy

A couple of weeks ago my father, who is 87, called me on a Sunday morning around 7:00. He asked if I could run him up to the emergency room. If I wasn’t busy. I told him I could be there in ten minutes. Make it thirty, he said.

His left arm was hurting. Had been for a few days. He had mowed his grass on Tuesday and sometime after that his arm started hurting. At the time he took pain pills, it felt better, so that was that.  Through the week it seemed to be getting better, so Saturday night he skipped the pain pills. But the pain was back and woke him up around 3:00. He waited another four hours before deciding that maybe he should have it checked out. You know, just in case it was that heart-attack thing.

So I drove him up to the ER.  He walked in while I parked. They took him right away and he got to exchange funny quips with the cute triage nurse. Then they took him back and ran more tests and blood work. More quips with another cute nurse.  All ER visits should go like his.

After four hours no one had rushed in declaring his need for bypass surgery so he was starting to get the idea he was ok. But he was bored. I didn’t notice when he held his breath to see what that would do to his oxygen reading.  Beep, beep, beep. Then he tried rapid breathing. Beep, beep, beep.  Then he wanted to know how that thing on his finger read his oxygen level.  So I looked it up.

A little while later a young Physician’s Assistant said they were going to send him home.  The nurse would come in and disconnect him from the monitors.  When she was slow to arrive he started to take out the IV port. I said that probably wasn’t a good idea. So he waited.

Though he was being discharged, they advised against any strenuous activity until he had a follow-up stress test, just to make sure. In the meantime, I mowed his grass a couple of times. I’m in pretty good shape, but his yard is no picnic. It’s strenuous for sure. I used the opportunity to suggest that maybe, at 87, it was time to start hiring it done. No. He wanted to do it himself.

So last week, after getting the green light from his Primary Care Physician, or PCP as he likes to say, he was back to mowing in the heat of the summer.

No big deal.

Yeah. One tough guy.

when you’re here

when you’re here
the world becomes so quiet
and we just can’t deny it
we’re meant for evermore

your voice
sounds like an angel choir
and takes me so much higher
than i ever could before

since you
found me
on that day

,

your touch
sends my heart to racing
when we are embracing
my feelings i can’t hide

please smile
and i’ll know that together
no storm we can not weather
if you’ll be by my side

since you
found me
on that day
,

so stay
we’ll laugh beneath the moonlight
and dance until the daylight
falls gently on your smile

we’ll live
and think not of tomorrow
when parting brings our sorrow
let’s love a little while

,

since you
found me
on that day

your love
is with me
every day


copyright 2017, joseph e bird

Between Us

There is distance
Between us
And no distance
Between us
When I see you
And you see me

And there are no words
Between us
But there are volumes
Between us
When your glance
Meets mine

Our hearts beat
Between us
And breathless
Between us
I know you
And you know me

There are feelings
Between us
And emptiness
Between us
Because I don’t know you
And you don’t know me

There is loveliness
Between us
And loneliness
Between us
Because our time
Was only a moment


copyright 2017, joseph e bird

talkin’ trouble

Hey, boy.
I ain’t no boy.
Hey, boy.
What?
Where ya’ goin?
Get some coffee.
Is that all?
It’s all I want.
You sure?
Don’t play with me.
Who says I’m playin?
That’s the problem.
No problem, boy.
I ain’t no boy.
I know that.
You want coffee?
I’m a lady.
Ladies don’t drink coffee?
Chamomile.
Whatever.
Can I walk with you?
To get some coffee?
Tea.
Come on.
And a biscuit.
See. Right there.
What?
That smile.
So?
Trouble. Deep trouble.

Candles in the Sky

It’s a cool evening.
The sky is clear.
We sit together
watching stars.
No words.
Just the sounds of the night.
Crickets.
Tree frogs.
Cars.

No mountaintop,
just our driveway.
No plush recliner,
just lawn chairs.
No obsidian sky,
just pale gray.
No telescope,
just our aging eyes
to see.

Antares.
Cassiopeia.
Orion.
I know the names,
but not the stars.
Doesn’t matter.
They’re just
candles in the sky
for me and you.

the girl from the bakery

tripping down the sidewalk
in the lower part of town
going to the guitar store
my e-string’s come unwound

a tune is humming in my head
for words i’ve yet to write
and then i see you through the glass
all dressed in bakers white

ohhh mercy sakes alive
look what you’ve gone and done
my breathing don’t come easy
when i see you making buns

i slow my steps and strain to look
without giving it a thought
i see you, and you see me
i know that i’ve been caught

maybe i should walk on by
be a gentleman this day
the heck with that, i’ll take a chance
this boy, he came to play

ohhh mercy sakes alive
you be messing with my head
i don’t think i can stand it
when I see you knead the bread

your hair is pulled back in a net
there’s flour everywhere
you glance at me and roll the dough
i barely take in air

you got that look that speaks to me
and yeah, i speak to you
together we can bake all day
have our cake, and it eat, too

ohhh mercy sakes alive
when the rolls comes from the oven
my legs are weak, can’t wait to eat,
but it’s you, oh girl, i’m lovin’


copyright 2017, joseph e bird


Editor’s Note: In his Noble Prize acceptance speech, Bob Dylan said his work is meant to be sung, that it’s not complete as a simple rhyming poem.  Same here with my so-called songs. Of course I ain’t no Robert Zimmerman, but I am, in fact, fooling around with music for these little ditties. Someday I may present them as fully imagined. Probably not, but you never know.

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