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Joseph E Bird

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love

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words.

words arranged in sentences.

sentences into paragraphs.

paragraphs into chapters.

chapters into a novel.

first sentence:

The lines in his face looked like furrows in the dirt, deep and irregular, grey and dusty, as if someone had made a half-hearted attempt to start a garden in a barren corner of the earth, and then just given up.

last sentence:

She pushed the joy stick and her chair turned and she looked at Lucas, smiling as best she could, and knowing that he wouldn’t be able to understand her, told him she loved him, knowing that he understood her perfectly.

the space in between:

well, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

 

comfort

She wanted him to hold her. She wanted to hold him. To feel him next to her. To have his comfort, his reassuring presence, to know that everything would be all right even though she knew nothing would ever be all right again.


copyright 2018, joseph e bird, from the novel Heather Girl

i have to go

“I shouldn’t have come here. I’m sorry.”

He reached across the table and put his hand on hers. She pulled away.

“I need to go.”

“Can’t you stay a little longer?”

There was no guile in his expression. His eyes had turned soft and pleading, his smile gentle and nervous. He was seventeen again, unsure of himself, captivated by the girl with the flaming red hair who could persuade him to do her bidding with her own teasing, alluring smile. He looked at her, a strand of his brown hair in front of his eyes, enticing her to brush it away, to touch his face, to feel his shoulders through his white t-shirt, tempting her to stay, to finish dinner, to find the bottle he had hidden behind the cereal in the cabinet above the refrigerator, to sip and smell the sweet liquor on his breath, and let the evening take them back in time to their wonderful and terrible lives of so many years ago, that would delight the flesh, break the heart, and leave them in ruin.

“I have to go.”

He stayed at the table as she got up and walked out. As she opened the front door, she heard him from the kitchen.

“Heather.”

She closed the door behind her.


Copyright 2018, joseph e bird, from the novel Heather Girl.

across the room

she smiles at him from across the room.
she means nothing.
well, of course she means something,
because she’s the kind of person
whose heart can do nothing
but smile,
because she’s the kind of person
who cares and loves and can do nothing
but smile.
even at this young man
who is a stranger who she will
never see again.
and because he is there,
she smiles.

and he will think of her
in the days to come
and will visit the coffee shop
again and again in hopes of catching
her smile
once more.
and he will think of her
in the weeks and months and years to come
because one day she made him
feel worthwhile
and he will love her
forever.

ok.
maybe not forever.
that’s a really long time.
and it’s not really love.
but, he thinks,
given the chance,
it might have been.
because he can’t help himself.
anything is possible.


copyright 2017, joseph e bird

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

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

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.

And we danced.

We danced.
And we fell in love.
Not with each other.
There was too much
reality between us
for something as
foolish as that.

We danced.
And we fell in love.
With the future.
With the possibilities
and potentials
and why nots
that might ever be.

We danced.
And we fell in love.
Because there was joy.
With just that
simple act of moving
and swaying and touching
as the music played.

We danced.
And fell in love.
Not forever, of course.
The music would end
and we would sit
and our troubles
would return.

We danced.
And I fell in love.
Yes. With you.
Because our moment
was timeless
and your laughter
is with me always.


copyright 2017, joseph e bird


Al Pacino’s character in Scent of a Woman, Frank Slade, is a retired Army colonel who’s having a tough time dealing with the loneliness in his life. He hires a college student (played by a very young Chris O’Donnel) to take him around for one last hurrah before he gives up on life. Did I mention that Frank Slade is blind? In the scene below, he dances the tango with a beautiful young woman and for a moment, remembers the joy that is possible.

That’s what dancing can do.

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