Nocturne with a Line from Porchia


Nocturne with a Line from Porchia

Everything is nothing, but afterwards.
I rise and the moon disturbs the darkness,
revealing symbols, a few stolen words
on the bureau. Tomorrow I’ll express
my gratitude by disappearing be-
fore I’m found, which is to say goodbye
before hello, a paradigm for the
prepossessed. Compton tells us to imply
what’s missing, like Van Gogh or Bill Monroe,
but why listen to the dead before they’ve
stopped speaking? Unfortunately we throw
out the bad with the good, only to save
the worst. I return to bed, and the floor
spins. Nothing is everything, but before.

This first appeared in The Blue Hour Magazine in December 2014, and is also included in my chapbook, If Your Matter Could Reform. The line “Everything is nothing, but afterwards” comes from Antonio Porchia’s Voices, translated by W.S. Merwin. Porchia wrote one book in his lifetime, but what a book it was! Often described as a collection of aphorisms, Voices is so much more – each time I open the book, I find new meaning in old lines.


Untitled from the 80s

Another untitled poem from the 80s…

wood and water
the wave of
fragrance so perfect

we seek to
obtain it as
if we could

be windows open
to a light
the gentlest cloud

would obscure still
spreading like one’s
final exhalation which

travels only to
disperse and become
at last another’s

This first appeared here in June 2017.

Un-Solicitous — A Dream

Experience Carrie Birde’s evocative dream!

Nightjars & Damselflies

Slate.jpg “Slate” — C.Birde, 8/18

Underfoot, the hall’s floor is a puzzle work of slate – gray-blue, charcoal, sand-flecked. To the left, a rough plaster wall rises; opposite, a series of ornate, heavily carved and curved wood frames define bevel-glass windows and doors. At the hall’s far end, a single, narrow, French door emits dusty bands of light.

Walk the hall’s length, pale cat in tow – calm, despite its slack leash; small, excited dog free to leap and prance at heel. Count each stride. Turn. Double back. Half-light swims and glitters; reflects off glass; pools upon polished wood and slate.

The words surface, unbidden:


six steps


the gray stone,



Complete the lap — down the hall and back. Turn into the open doorway, incised in the plaster wall. Enter a large dining room. Its ceiling soars overhead; its furnishings baroque in detail. A long trestle table, lavishly…

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Adept at withdrawal, it retreats.
How appropriate, we think,
that its body curls
with the wind’s
tug, offering
only the
resistance. Then
it returns,
bringing to mind
the habitual offender
whose discomfiture
lies in choice,
the fear
of enclosure
removed. The
forward glance.
And back again,
whispering its
edict: concede, reclaim.
Give and take. We are as one.


“Curtain” last appeared on the blog in July 2017.

Poem Up at Vita Brevis


My poem, “Bone Music,” which originally appeared in Gossamer: An Anthology of Contemporary World Poetry, published by Kindle Magazine in Kolkata, India, has been reprinted on Vita Brevis.

I am grateful to editor Brian Geiger for offering a second home to this poem.

Echo Charm

Echo Charm

Right on left, or returned

what circles back, unbroken
yet opened?

Your mouth centers me.

Diminished, I rise, listening.

Grass rubbing against grass.
The lizard’s scarlet throat, swelling.

Not refusal, but denial.

Eyes the color of blood.

You practice your words carefully,
repeating each special phrase.

Blood the color of sky.

Sky the color of eyes.

And always the warm shade.