Joseph E Bird

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




They sat quietly and thought about the words that had been said, thought about their pasts, their families, themselves. In the stillness of the room, their thoughts touched and their feelings mingled as the shadows of the blinds moved slowly across the table and the warm sunlight crept across their skin. He felt it. She felt it. There was something, they both knew.


There are some days that jump on your back at dawn’s early light for no discernible reason and ride you hard, dissipating energy and polluting emotion until sullenness is replaced by abject apathy, before the night finally declares an end to the day’s reign. Trevor had seen his fair share of such days that more often than not lingered into weeks. And though he seemed primed to again carry the oppressing burden, he awoke Thursday morning at daybreak with a fresh enthusiasm that would have been difficult to explain, had he even cared to think about it.


Another random paragraph from my novel in progress.

He turned to look at Dani.

The glow from the street lights moved across her face, highlighting her features before leaving her obscured in shadow. As if there were two versions of the same person. The woman of light who quickens his heart and brings forth thoughts that he had willed himself to suppress. She of ankle boots and smooth skin and hair of fire. And the one who lives quietly in the dimness, who understands his thoughts and challenges his mind, who without even trying is as alluring and comforting as a soft song in the evening.

A friend.

copyright joseph e bird, 2015

Walking in Memphis

My current novel in progress is heavily influenced by music.  In the scene I’m working on right now, Dani travels to Memphis on business.  I was reminded of the Marc Cohn song, Walking in Memphis. You can hear the song below.  But what’s interesting is that apparently the song is 100% autobiographical.  You can read the rest of the story here:

Maxfield Martin

“Although the fig tree shall not blossom,
neither shall fruit be in the vines;
the labor of the olive shall fail,
and the fields shall yield no meat;
the flock shall be cut off from the fold,
and there shall be no herd in the stalls.”

Do you hear me? Do you understand? There will be bad times, brother.
In my eighty-one years, you better believe I’ve had them.
Three years ago I lost Nita.
We’re supposed to get wiser as we get older, and I guess I have.
Even so, loss is hard and lonely.

Here’s what I know.
Listen, now.

“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet,
and he will make me walk upon mine high places.
To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.”

I didn’t always know that.
When you’re young, you think the fig will always bloom.
You think there will always be fruit and cattle in the stalls.
Now don’t be dense. You know what I mean. Even if you’re young, you know what I’m saying.

But this isn’t my story. It’s Trevor’s.
Trevor for sure didn’t know.
To this day, I don’t know if he’s taken hold of the truth.
It’s not profitable for a man to express his faith in these days and when you’re young like Trevor, you’re not inclined to go against everything the world says is right.
One has to be tried, tested, and hardened by fire.

That boy.
He’s a remarkable boy.

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