1684 c/o Tommy P. Keane

Do you hear(,) the Birds?
It started in December of the previous year, as it should have. A time to be frozen and a time to search for warmth. But it got colder than we expected. We sheltered one another. Wrapped up in alms and arms. Empathy and ecstasy, I'd like to believe in earnest alternative, but perhaps that is just misguided.

Even the seas turned to glass, immovable, and the lives they held were now trapped and shattered. With no sea, the skies yielded their living into the ice of death as well.

We stood there, in the snow, in that field, amidst that valley, beneath a faded sun. Under the treaded frost below our feet were blades of mocking green grass, peeking up at us. It was coming; it wasn't time yet, but it was coming. We held each other, deeply and dearly, but not in the right ways. The wanted ways. No, it was the needed ways only. The cold kept everyone else out, and we were close enough for warmth, but it was the necessity of our Winter. Ours of missed intent. But the blades watched us, waiting; knowing, without truly.

The thaw separated us. It separated all. The seas returned to motion, as land had no more surface connection, but it is always to be all-one deep down, whether we remember to admit it or not. The crystal ocean cracked and fractured, as life returned to the seas immediately yielding, in part, in death to feed the lives of the skies.

You loved the birds. You love the birds. You hoped for the birds. I think that's why you held me so close in the frost. When they died, you knew they weren't gone, or at least you hoped, but you took to me just the same, to be the hope. We can't put our hopes on the dead. They can do nothing but disappoint.

I held you in the Winter, I held you for the warmth, our missed intent, but I held you too for the truth. What is closest seems most real and true. Mountains require faith, until we stand upon their crests, and then it is our lives, our civilizations, which require our faith or seem too far lost. In my arms I found you to be truth, and you to me in mine. But is it crust or crystal?

Now in March, in our thaw, I am no longer needed and it is a want that is in question. The birds are returning; the blades stand, pointed, a carpet in their own right, no longer covered. If I am no longer needed for your hopes or warmth, is that my end to you? Alone amongst the blades.

The Thames flows again, as England stands alone looking upon Europe locked in embrace with Asia. In that Winter, the ice and cold, the frost and crystal connected them. Europe enveloped, but the new connection was lost while one had been there before the beginning of it all. But in crust or crystal, which truth chose; why? and which was chosen; why?

The birds are returning and your hopes return to their backs, your love to their wings, your secrets to their eyes, and your desires to their call.

I will stand in this field, surrounded by the blades. They will never pierce me, but they will remain an abstract and constantly conspicuous threat. A frost like this is few and far between.

Will I learn, or be found, to be wanted before I am needed in the next?

Will your birds, upon which you rest all, stay close, or will you send yourself away with them into the skies?

Needed or wanted, I am kneaded all the same.