Joseph E Bird

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



Carnival Dreams – The Song

I recently published Carnival Dreams, my collection of short stories, poems, and songs. The book title is also the title of a song I wrote. Friend and colleague, Warren Iulg, wrote the music and recently recorded it. Have a listen.

could einstein twist and shout?

abe partridge.

you gotta listen to the words.

between us

photo by anthony tran

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 love
was only for a moment

copyright 2022, joseph e bird

evening conversation

photo by Gita Krishnamurti

Hey, boy.
I ain’t no boy.

Hey, boy.

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 tea.

Can I walk with you?
To get some coffee?

Come on.

And a biscuit.
See. Right there.

That smile.

You’re trouble.
So much trouble.

copyright 2022, joseph e bird

morning conversation

Do not go gentle
that good morning.
Isn’t that supposed
to be good night?
But it’s morning.
And why not
go gentle
that good morning?
The day is coming.
And it has teeth.
Lamb to the slaughter.
That kind of thing.
Be the wolf?
Not the lamb?
Just be ready.
Be on your toes.
I’m not a dancer.
It’s an expression.
But of course you know that.
You’re just being obstinate.
I’m listening to jazz.
I can’t be a wolf while
I’m listening to jazz.
See those gray clouds?
They’re a portend
of things to come.
But it’s warm.
And breezy.
I might just sit
and watch the squirrels.
Don’t say
I didn’t
warn you.
Takuya Kuroda.
I’d rather go gentle
good morning.

copyright 2022, joseph e bird

dance me to the end of love

the porch

Home. The theme of Katie’s writing challenge. I failed to get a new story for March. I tried, but it didn’t happen. I could tell you the reasons, but you don’t really care. Instead, here is something I wrote few years ago that fits the theme. Next month, something new.

She sits on the porch alone

as we drive by.

Stop on your way back.

Past the house,

we turn up the hill that’s almost too steep.

The trees reach out and touch the car.

as if to comfort, as if they know.

In the clearing, faded flowers lean

in front of slabs of stone,

forever marking the place

where we visit those

we can no longer visit.

Gospel music from across the hollow

filters through the trees.

Dusk is creeping closer.

Has it been that long already?

We leave because we must.

She sits on a swing

built by her husband’s father,

so many year ago.

We sit in rockers

and talk.

The porch is painted white,

the floor boards brick red.

Once-sharp edges are now round

from years of touch

by those who rest

on the hill above.

The swing creaks back and forth,

a soothing lullaby.

Nearby a bird calls in strong song.

Farther away, another answers.

Still another sings the song of

the solitary bird.

A frog croaks.

Just one, for now.

Others will follow later.

A cool breeze brings relief

from the hot, muggy day.

The serenity of the world

from the porch

is comforting.

All things of youth

are memories now.

He is gone.

Though there are friends,

though there is family,

she is alone.

She embraces the solitude.

I love this porch, she says.

In the mornings

on the swing

by myself.

I am blessed.

The Lord

brought him

to me.

And he brought me

to this house,

this porch.

And now,

though alone,

I am blessed.

copyright joseph e bird, 2016

the ferris wheel

the image is from the cover of carnival dreams, my collection of stories, available at Amazon and the Coal River Coffee Company.

i wanted an image that suggested a carnival and though i found many others that were maybe more festive, this subdued image worked with the cover layout i had in mind.

any idea where this ferris wheel is located?

Pripyat, Ukraine.

does that mean anything to you?

how about Chernobyl?

Pripyat was a city founded to serve the doomed power plant that failed in 1986. the amusement park was never opened. it remains a ghostly reminder of what happened.

the song below, carnival dreams, has nothing to do with Chernobyl. it’s just a story of two people sharing a moment in time.

you said you’d be pleased
to walk by my side
to breathe the night air
maybe go for a ride

so we walk down the shore
toward the music and light
with your hand in mine
feeling good, feeling right

then we stop for a drink
sipping cola on ice
and watch the wheel roll
and a toss of the dice

the carousel goes ’round
with the kids holding tight
never wanting to fall
but knowing they might.


and we’re walking the midway
the music is playing
and I’m wishing tomorrow
that you would be staying

my time here with you
is not what it seems
everything that I hope for
is a carnival dream


the smell of food fills the air
and it’s prodding my hunger
and your laugh fills my ear
makes me wish I was younger

i’d ask you to stay
to let go of tomorrow
let’s chart our own course
we’ll beg, steal, or borrow.

but our time is just this
cotton candy this eve
a quick kiss goodnight
and then you will leave

i’ll awake all alone
in the morning’s first light
and remember our time
in the carnival night


and we’re walking the midway
the music is playing
and I’m wishing tomorrow
that you would be staying

but my time here with you
is not what it seems
everything that I hope for
is a carnival dream

copyright 2018, joseph e bird
image from iStock Photo


this is one of the stories in my book, carnival dreams, available at Amazon, and the trunk of my car.

tomorrow will come

tomorrow will come, and i’ll sing an old song
and think of the day, that the words came along
i didn’t know then, that song was my last
i didn’t know then, that time flies so fast

tomorrow will come, and i’ll look toward the sun
and remember the spring, when i went for a run
i didn’t know then, that it was my last
i didn’t know then, that time flies so fast.

so remember the day, of all that was good
when youth was forever, we’d play when we would
remember the day, of life with no fears
tomorrow is coming, and with it the tears

tomorrow will come, and i’ll think of my friend
and read all the words, that he took time to send
i didn’t know then, that they were his last
i didn’t know then, that time flies so fast

tomorrow will come, and i’ll hear her sweet voice
and laugh at her jokes, her spirit rejoice
i didn’t know then, that her smile was her last
i didn’t know then, that time flies so fast

so remember the day, of our one last good time
when I touched your face, and your hand held mine
remember the day, and when we would dance
for tomorrow is coming, leave nothing to chance

copyright 2017, joseph e bird

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