T. Birch: Featured Poet


White Rose in a Tumbler
In Association with
i. glass

Oceans spawned intentions of silica
      Messy grains of crumpled cyrstals

Make me missile, make me fissile! Making ripples
with our submarinal whines!

And we took them and we shook them and we
      rolled them around!

Our scraping surfing churned into
      salinity ground!

Liquid bowels that blew us out sputtering
      we stuttered our mouths, roasted
in the light and infinitely alone with our fellows,
      the good hearted brethren, the sisterhood
the old men and women,
      all of their souls ripe and beatified
all saints that filled the heavens unsatisfied,
      waiting and waiting . . .

Thank-God we were found!

Delivered, crushed and bled
      bones rarified, sifted, transformed,
reborn into

the smelter
      merged and joined
the holy union
      the bliss
bubbling us

We are no more but

I am.

I drift, awaiting my mold,
a purpose, a verb, a process
a cooling down

from halide hot waxing a fever,
the flippering fade that shivers me

cold and no longer formless.

   Cold, but not hopeless

      Cold and asleep to the sound I will make.

When I find what I seek. I won’t be


            Cold, stiff and rigid and

      fearless -

not heartless, but patient and certain -

      and destined for something to save, to preserve.

         I am arrogant with the touch I was


         the souls that were driven hot and now

   frozen, and relentlessly, translucently shown

      to behold,

            but in submission

humbly, humbly, humbly
I pray for my renown.
I pray for my resurrection.
I pray, but I also listen
for my renown
to become
to end

be crystallized again.

ii. rosebushes in the garden

We spike, a hundred poles shorn;
thorn mesas that bled, that were freed,
that were led to our grief.

The air once warm, now a frost dying.
We are dead now in all but name. Lost
are the virtues that fed us, that entertained

the mystery of sustenance. A wet spirit
drenching us, blessed with sun and the big blue
and the ball that we worshipped, now occluded

gone in the grayness, gone
in the cold damp wet that buries
our misery with winter’s mist, clouds sanity

with solitude. We weep, anxious and still
hearing the last of our children’s cries
at the cutting, the separation, the end

of creation. We weep without
blood, without tears, at the evil we fear,
the devastation of growth.

iii. tap water

warm energy flows into me
and then is stopped
filling me incompletely with your fluid touch
now but ripples across my bare
red blotches
my ribs pressed under your heaviness
our raspy breathing the sound and
feeling each single drip drip drip
from the end of your tap

iv. artist in the moment

not white not white not white but white

not white but white and brown mustard

brown mustard brown mustard background

but not white not silver not white not silver


i am a genius but you LORD you did that

you made me elite yes the elite the genius

yes lavender lavender lavender but white

call it white though call it that call it white

© T. Birch 2002


Featured Poetry

White Rose in a Tumbler
For You and I and Everyone
Uriel's Keeping
Take Any Word and Follow After It
This Is the New Century Once More
i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. vii. viii. ix. x.

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