Joseph E Bird

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



it’s a west virginia thing

The temperature and humidity were rising as she drove farther south and just outside of Montgomery she stopped for gas at a convenience store, filled her tank, and went inside for a cold drink. When she came back out, she paid no attention to the car parked at the pump behind her.

“West Virginia, almost heaven.”

She turned to look. A black man, about her age, wearing a tattered ball cap. He was smiling,

She gave him a friendly look and unlocked her car.

“Your license plate.” He pointed to the back end of her car. “I’m from there.”

She stopped. She couldn’t resist.


“McDowell County.”

It was a West Virginia thing. If you’re from southern West Virginia, you’re identified with your county, not your town. Mingo County. Boone County. Lincoln County. McDowell was the poorest of the poor. She didn’t have to ask why he left. The decline of the coal industry affected everyone in southern West Virginia. As the jobs left, the drugs came in. Anybody with any hope for the future left. At least that’s the way she saw it.

“I’m from Charleston.”

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

Our Exotic World

Many of you who stop by here for a word or two are from this area (West Virginia) or near enough to be familiar with the locale. Some of you visit from lands far away. This occurred to my friend, fellow writer, and neighbor a few doors down, Larry Ellis, and he has written a nice little essay about our neck of the woods. You might enjoy getting to know this area through his words and photos.  If so, click here and jump on over to his site.


Time Alone

mountains for web


The leaves that rustle in the breeze.
It’s just the stirring of the trees.
To bend and sway at nature’s pleas.
And sing the song of time alone.

The sound of paper as I turn.
The book I’ve read, of life to learn.
My eyes are heavy, this rest I’ve earned.
And comfort in my time alone.

I speak, my friend, but you’re not there.
So many things we used to share.
I sit beside that empty chair.
And curse my hated time alone.

The soul is restless, thoughts fill my head.
Of troubling times, so full of dread.
But there is peace; a prayer is said.
So strong becomes the time alone.

I hear a voice, it’s someone new.
Talk with me and stay a few.
I’ll be your friend, you’ll be mine, too.
And share our precious time alone.

The leaves will fall, no sound to make.
As winter brings the heart to ache.
But know that spring will soon awake.
The gift of no more time alone.

Copyright joseph e bird, 2016

Exempli gratia.

mountains for web

They say

that millions of years ago the earth was flat and covered by the oceans.

Then the tectonic plates moved and collided and crinkled and pushed up mountains.

Rivulets of rain water formed a brook, then a stream, then a river,
taking with it small particles of the mountain,

until now we have
craggy peaks and deep, dark valleys.

They say.

There were no witnesses.

The evidence is circumstantial but compelling.

Exempli gratia: southern West Virginia.

copyright joseph e bird, 2015

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