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Meg Baird
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appreciate it

 

by Meg Baird

 

well, I don’t know a lot

about hip-hop

but I do like rhyme

and it rhymes all the time

if only they’d stop swearin’

I find it so wearin’

on my nerves

on the curves in my mind

hairpin turns

go so fast

never can relax

hypertension

or good suspension

no time to think

somebody give me a drink

of water

somebody slap me

make me cry

make me laugh

speak your truth

I’m hip to that

 

 

 

 

ow

 

by Meg Baird

 

old woman lies in waiting

her bulbous stomach

ready to feed the earth

add bones’ usefulness to the ash

 

one last act of giving

 

old women have hearts

of young girls, young women

mature woman, the old woman’s body

some disguise laying in wait

 

old woman

I love you

 

 

 

crazy love

 

by Megan Baird

 

 

crazy love

shatters

but does not break

is more

than a skeleton  of bone

 

crazy love

spills blood

from the ostial vessel

 

painful

angry

melancholy

release

 

crazy love

period

 

 

Sandy

 

by Meg Baird

 

elegant and willowy

he reminded me of my father

his hand on my waist

brief but succinct

in this place

of strange intimacies

we move swiftly

 

 

 

Winnie

 

by Meg Baird

 

bold

as a cigar smoking boardroom

she said she’d had many jobs

a waitress once

seems rather odd

one eye dark and half-closed

lush

if lush is old



a new creation

by Meg Baird


 
October
you are cold this year
your beauty is not enough
to warm the shivering hearts
afraid of the life budded 
in the young girl's belly
out of time with her parents
planned seasons of hope and growth
 
simple nature!
what hatred you inspire
what wiggling bawling bundle
will curl its helpless fingers and toes
around their perfect hearts
which only wish to mimic
nature's tumble and fall
swell and flow
the ordered coming and going
 
what drivel is this?
nature is not for us
it is against us
no, really
it doesn't give a damn
that we want to live forever
it only offers new life
and the seed in the womb
is strong and happy
 
one, one revolution only for us
and none of it short and sweet
except creation
sweet creation
the reason to the end



the twist

by Meg Baird


knowledge is a sidewinder
flick of the tongue
tasting the air
deviant kind of hunger
 
basking in a sleek skin
under the desert sky
of voided landscapes
a terrible beauty
 
the thing and itself
are one
you are what you think
 
and flesh and blood
desiring love
someone who thinks like you



 

end of winter

 

by Meg Baird

 

 

wind crinkles

in the house cracks

 

broken honey-comb ice

stacking street curbs

 

cold bleak dirty grey

and nothing left to say







poem for Spring


 


by Meg Baird


 


long


skinny


poem


for


Spring


in


icicles


dripping


from


quince


branches


Spring


spigots!




dominatrix

 

by Meg Baird

 

because a bull might destroy her

she built her house a china shop

 

 

the unwilling visitor

 

by Meg Baird

 

 

I have no frame of reference

to be in this alley

where it is almost raining

left over from a heavy rain that wasn’t

no wind but the crows cawing

I imagine they are ravens

as it is only here

since I stepped off the street

that it is like this

his door is locked

but he jumps up quickly

“come back tomorrow,

yes, tomorrow, please”

his color was of ashen breath

and from his eyes a hollow bright

and amber light

my head already pounding

is hammering now

it heightens my sense of thirst

and there is no one I can tell

who would not think

I have amour for this

and so I sit and figure out

that snow drips profusely

on milder days this time of year

and in narrow darker alleyways

it would appear to be raining



Snowflake

 

by Meg Baird

 

she was Russian

in her great coat

and ushanka hat

white teeth flashing

sunglassed-eyes laughing

great coat flapping open

wrapping round her feet

pulling it to with a husky “hello”

as she tumbles from the doorway

and on to the snow-covered streets



Women

 

by Meg Baird

 

as women age

they become more tubular

vacuous reeds

play sensitive musician play

something beautiful

something sweet

something deeply penetrating

touch on meaning in the ether light

bright channels within them

 

as women age

they become more tubular

a masculine shape

the aching meaning of need

chorusing through them

slides down thicker straighter sides

less curves and dangers signs

to keep them from flight

 

as people age they become more alike

women get facial hair

and men begin to care about little things

the flower and the stem become one

thicker softer reeds of darker green

or so it seems

I think they dream of love



 

 

 

Lcd

 

by Meg Baird

 

the lowest common denominator

may bring us all together

and where do we go from there?

 

check it out and see it’s not so simple

“nothing’s ever simple,” Fran used to say

 

the article preferred least common denominator

which is more complicated and not so fraught

with the lowly intentions of the lowly mind

of the harassed and burdened lower classes

or perhaps the general malaise of old age

 

I think I’ll be sweet and no one will beat up on me

that’s what I learned and lucky for me it worked

I gave my best and I guess I can keep on giving

even though the meaning of living begins to elude me

 

but not really

there’s so much to be learned



the maker

 

by Meg Baird

 

wiry old women so often

look like starved birds

so wanting to fly

 

Jessie raised her kids at sea

the rocking rolling motion

gave her steady feet a special feel

 

in her old age she became the ship

each creaking rolling motion

its inhabitants all gone, moved on

she sailed the Netherworld alone

seeking passage somewhere yon

 

old Jessie walked a thousand thousand

thousand miles

no chair, no office, no room, no place

was out of bounds to stop for rest

 

and then one night

she ate her supper

and went to sleep

deep and sound

 

nothing ghastly

nothing grim

her bird-like frame

had given in

in one fell swoop

the maker came to claim her

mrbeauty.jpg
Illo by Pattie Mulligan © 2015

mr. beauty

 

by Meg Baird

 

that big ol’ alley cat

has a head as broad as his shoulders

or maybe it’s a she

white as a white alley cat can be

Mr. Beauty has a smaller

more delicate companion

clean as a white alley cat can be

a friend, a sibling, a stray

it’s hard to say with alley cats

anyway, the name is Ms. Pretty

they’re often together

and known as a pair

by the neighborhood cat lovers

maybe they’re looking

for Mr. William S. Burroughs

protector and friend

of lost lonely lovely stray cats

he lived long and hard

and he looked long and hard

for a life metaphor of “the cat inside”

the un-tameable un-nameable urge

catinside.jpg
Illo by Pattie Mulligan © 2015

the cat inside

 

by Meg Baird

 

as I sleep

with the cat inside

wrapped in its lap

of luxurious fur

I am sure I am dreaming

one-third of our lives

we are dreaming

my cat purrs

its soft fur

is pushing me down

the weight of your arm

cross my heart

we are travelling through space

I am waking to face life

the part that is more real

or less so

I don’t know

the cat is inside

it is beauty and pride

it is good and it’s bad

it is happy and sad

are you weary?

relax

you are stressing the cat

catinside2.jpg
Illo by Pattie Mulligan © 2015

end of the line

 

by Meg Baird

 

I

pretty little Pearl

in her case of flesh and bone

lay curled

all she ever said, “Arr . . .”

 

II

Flora, bright flower

decidedly shocked

by all of her pain

and this strange environment

“It’s all very sudden,” she said

and without much adieu

she had fled

 

III

Evelyn, Evelyn

you’re gone so long

you didn’t waste and dither

you laid your long strong body down

and wailed your way to heaven

 

 

 

thinking of you

 

by Meg Baird

 

if I were a bird or a fish

I would have no words

or way to write to describe flight

immersion in the ocean’s liquid night

 

I have lived another life

perhaps a pharaoh princess

or a Pharaoh’s lovely wife

and then I might have been an eagle’s meal

or in a gilded cage

I may have worked from dawn to dusk

a lovely pharaoh’s slave

 

yes, I remember many things

on any given night

the sky

the sea

the fire of Kings

some other things

I have been speared

have been enclosed

I’ve lived and died a hundred-fold

your love has always been with me

when words do not suffice

it swims and flies and dies with me

ready, as the days unfold, in this another life

 

 

 

Drivel

by Meg Baird

 

and someday he will

out of the corners of his mouth

remember the bend of the form

the soft cooing sounds

icing on cinnamon buns

the pair of them



what to write

 

by Meg Baird

 

write about that night

that the rain was on fire

that your bed was a pyre

that you burned with desire

that you steadfastly held

to your right to disclose

and remove your clothes

that you knew it was rain

that the flames would not burn

you will learn you will learn

how to suffer


 

 

green shoots

 

by Meg Baird

 

it’s rather chilly

this March dampness

there’s a forecast

for heavy rain tonight

there’s green shoots

shooting up in the garden

with their tiny tips of color

and their cups enclosed

and they are truly shooting up

out of dark and damp and cold

color packets, shrubby buds

spires and thorns and pulchritude

kaleidoscoping blooms surrounded\

rooted in and grounded by the many

shapes and shades and patterns

of their bed of green and gold

and purples too and more

and if it snows

they’ll just slow down

but the forecast is for rain

and rain it will

spilling into buds that drink

for bees that drink

and birds that eat

delicious little garden treats

but now it’s only March

so much is written of that month

the madness and the fun

some betrayal, wars and such

what will it bring

no one ever knows for sure

but how we crave the Springing forth

we have a metaphor called Love




jack and jill

 

by Meg Baird

 

he’s  slipping into madness

and she’s sliding out of dodge

they’re holding hands

new jack old jill

tumbling down the hill

the pail comes flying after

 

tom had some Irish in him

crazy big blue eyes

gay was his heart

and also his hurt

we who loved

could flirt

his mind

was a world of delight

his eyes have now changed

they are slits

he is chained

but he’s having a wake ‘for he dies

 

the doctors tell him he can pick a date

nurses at arms implore him to wait

he’s not terribly unhappy

let’s have us a wake

he’s a strong heart

they’ve told him

obviously lucid and sane

set up the high-five

or continue this frame

but the motor is running

it’s purring and warm

he might slip with his jill

down the hill

one more night



the story to here

 

by Meg Baird

 

Feral or fear

And what is the difference

Injected dilaudid diazepam

Dreams

Colostomy surgery

Metastasized shit

Please pardon the pun

There’s a reason for it

No winking at surgeons

A bite for the doc

Who’d offer a high-five

If he would but knock

I’m thinking him more

Of a cat every day

We once had an old tom

And that was his name

Of how we just let our

Old Tom go away

No matter how ragged

Or cut up his was

A scrapper

An old tom

A thing of great interest

But I kept my distance

And that is the story to here



 

 


tomcat.jpg
Art by Patty Mulligan © 2017

Tom cat

 

by Meg Baird

 

My friend Tom cat

is a gentle man

may he land on his feet

as he leaps out of the reach

of the outstretched hands

that he doesn’t understand

and they don’t understand

 

It’s just about time to

have a serious talk

Stage three cancer

maybe four

Somewhere between in his

chemo-laced platelets of blood

and the radiation blasts

to the tumors in his ass

which are grim to the intestines

within

my dear, dear friend

in the Sunrise Manor

house of the rising sun

public housing cockroach

bedbug-ridden hell hotels

the welfare checks

he calls being paid

the job search center

he calls his office

and he says he’s going

kicking and screaming all the way

what can anyone say

death has a way to it

same deal with every meal

going, going, gone

and we lightly on the surface

will sing and remember him

each in their own way

he will be gone




mon amie


 

by Meg Baird


 

mon amie est en train de mourir


lentement et dur


donnant la botte et le cri


a cette vie où il a essaye


être libre


maintenant il fatigue


et le feux de la vie


me quittera bientôt


sans lui


 


 


my friend


 

by Meg Baird


 

my friend is dying


slowly and hard


giving the boot and the cry


to this life where he tried


to be free


now he tires


and the fires of life


will soon leave me


without him



 

 


img4677.jpg
Art by Ann Marie Rhiel © 2017

running

 

by Meg Baird

 

 

running the last mile

 

walking and talking with him

then running to avoid

the feared parking ticket

running to run away

running just to run

 

staying on track

we’re parting ways

here’s to the days

we thought would never end

my friend

 

but the parting

is in the future

I walk in my years

strongly beside his frailty

I’ve always loved his joie de vie

 

he’ll be tired

just getting home

hospital bed in his living room

how ironic words can be sometimes

 

now he’s drinking

“in his cups” as he likes to say

happy enough in his own way

along with a menagerie of drugs

dying, he said, is a full-time job

along with lucid dreaming

loss of short-term memory

loss of appetite

anxiety, some panic

visual effects that turn the room

sideways or upside down

all normal, the docs tell him

if he fears anything

it’s being alone at night

those wee hours are frightful to him

can’t say I’m brave enough to stay

 

torn between standing in his way

and whispering in his ear that it’s ok

run Tom, run

 

anyway

I’ve told him

I wouldn’t stay

not at his apartment

anyway

 

he’s in bad shape

his ship is sinking

submarines

are one of his fantasies

go figure

 

Stevie, his friend

from across the hall

before he got evicted

now still has a warm place

he’d been running errands

for Tom for months

a real sweetheart with problems

this could get interesting

 

 

 


momentofmadness.jpg
Art by Ann Marie Rhiel © 2017

moment of madness

 

by Meg Baird

 

 

I once knew a woman

with Alzheimer’s

not funny, eh?

but anyway

she said something

all the time

over and over

all the f-ing time

she said

I can’t do this anymore

so the other night

I lay in bed thinking

about a song I’d just heard

and the line that stuck in my mind

was

I should have known

heard it again just now

but the group and the title slipped immediately

from my mind that had followed the following news story

and the word “gross at the end just biffed that group and title right out of my head

and can I find it anywhere with a reference to that line

well, you guessed it

all I can come up with are soapy, slimy lyrics and it’s not the tune

I was sure I had remembered the group’s name but oh, no

no such band

a recording company

so I’ll have to listen for it again

it’s a new contemporary song

I’ll get back to you

of course

I should have known

And then they sing

I’m all alone

I should have known

then there’s some lovely lines about good things

I should have known though

that was my point

it’s a perfect repeat line for a madwoman

I was thinking that the other night and I was feeling the same today

when I heard the damn thing

someone put an end to this

and that’s my point, too

someone do it for me

wish I could have killed that woman and put her out of her misery

 

 

 


atthecrest.jpg
Art by Ann Marie Rhiel © 2017

at the crest

by Meg Baird

 

my demons were chasing me

they linger even now

that morning’s light has come

I did not run with them

though they howled all night

I am wounded

I walk with scars

the bright light hurts my eyes

I am saved for another day

for yet another way

to dicker the price

 

 

gottingenst.jpg
Art by Ann Marie Rhiel © 2017

Gottingen Street 1998

by Meg Baird

 

as winter begins to thaw

the old dilapidated part of town yawns

the junkies outside the addiction control center

have eyes of exposed rock

their limbs are lean and mean weathered branches

a cache of desolate landscape

along the brightly colored, sagging, litter-strewn street

where the winos melt and the hulks saunter down

the main artery from the North End

the good city is always trying to clean that street

keep it from getting clogged

and causing a major heart attack

but it’s just dying of old age

living and dying every day, in every conceivable way

 

(Gottingen, in the area that I lived for awhile, was pronounced like “got-a-gin” and occasionally someone would refer to it as “got-a-gun street.”)

 

 


loveisall.jpg
Art by W. Jack Savage © 2018

Love is all

by Meg Baird

 

I say things now

I don’t know where they come from

But I do

This growing old is new to me

I only recently stopped digging my heels in

when I joined the Buddhist temple

and got the Buddha Bible or one of them

in translation of course so who knows

some of it gets through

It’s all Love

Love is all is what Tom used to say

Oh, yes the friends, family and lovers who are passing on

Or whatever, dear God, it is that happens

They’re still so oh so very much inside us

Gone to where we’re going next

That much we know but not the rest

It’s all Love

And that’s my mama

that pink porcelain egg

Planted one tip in

a Chinese flower pot

on the kitchen counter

 

 


travelling.jpg
Art by Ann Marie Rhiel © 2018

travelling


by Meg Baird

 

some roads are built at night

star-spangled interstates

of mind travel

on wide thick ribbons

of nerve-drenched cement

wet in a romantic rain

 

 

Meg Baird can be found in the ezine archives of Yellow Mama, Anemone Sidecar, Open Heart Forgery, Apollo's Lyre, and Prachya Review as well as the paper publications Fluidity, CV2: Poetry Only, Expressions, and Fourth Floor Images. She enjoys performing in cafes, libraries, bars and special events. Poetry, her own and that of others, has saved her life on more than one occasion. Say no more!

In Association with Fossil Publications