1. Awareness of Joy
  2. Birds at Recess
  3. The Call Back
  4. A poem to commemorate dennis's road rash, broken rib, concussion and the bruising of his fourth cranial nerve
  5. Oakland Is Burning
  6. Finding Paul's Marker
  7. Freeway
  8. Carolton
  9. Grief in a Dry September
  10. A Headache on Tuesday, February 26, 2002
  11. heaven
  12. A Hillside Pond in the Rain
  13. Hoarder
  14. L.O.F. (In Her Door)
  15. Intersection
  16. Iporaõ 1960
  17. A Janitor on Hansen Way
  18. laundry
  19. Lucy in the Streets with Ashes
  20. The Man in Blue
  21. When the Morning Air was Cold
  22. Night Stand
  23. objectification
  24. (Quoting Emily Dickenson)
  25. Racoon Eyes
  26. Red Lips
  27. Reflections on a dislocation
  28. The Runway
  29. sails
  30. San Antonio Station, January 3, 2005, 4 Pm
  31. Scene Report
  32. Shark Teeth
  33. Prayer for an Old Woman
  34. Encounter in an Unfinished Room
  35. Y Sovendo Morréu com Raiva
  36. On the Strand
  37. Tethered
  38. Before the Beast
  39. The Ties that Bind
  40. Viewing Bald Eagles
  41. Voyeur
  42. What I Learned on Summer Vacation
  43. What I Learned on Summer Vacation
  44. Without You
  45. Love Poem to You Written on a Mountain
  46. Your Tongue is Soft and Your Teeth Slide in Easy


Birds at recess, pinions slap the flat sky.
I stop to watch the fletched darts shifting,
Air swallows them.  They tilt and turn.
Fethers show new lights, dark tops in flight
Then soft bright belly down as they flap,
As they wheel in their wild reeling dance.

Each beat bears, these leaves blown on the sky,
Omens of different face than before.
My clattering memories fly stampeding,
Dreams of him who was my life and breath;
Schoolchildren clammor, they tug at me,
Drawing me from awe to reverie.

Gusts of mind blinks change his face's shape,
A cyclone, each bird stepping sideways.
The flock's feet dance standing on plain air;
Swallows spin on the blue ballroom floor
As my crayoned scenes of fond regret
Hatch masterpieces of cold regard.

The flock's aimless dance pirouettes there
Where it beats the hard air with its heels.
I see it, tea leaves blurred in the cup,
Blue willow holding the birds aloft
Can hold them swirling round forever
Until it's drained of brew and drying.

So now, I tip this, my murky cup,
White brim kissing my wet red lips.
It flings across my tongue its wildness.
The hot tea chews its way down my craw
Where I tighten my bowels to absorb
Each calory of understanding.

  1. Author
    Stephen Riddle
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  8. Title
    Birds at Recess
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  10. Written
    December 29, 1995

Stephen Riddle,
December 29, 1995

© Stephen Riddle 1995, All Rights Reserved
This Document Last Modified: Sunday August 02, 2009