Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

poem-perception is reality May 9, 2015

Oh, I know the row you hoe

is dreary and full of woe!

or so you are inclined to think

but we are not defined by your narrow ink

We see you fear to be seen as less

You shout. you rave, you wave distress

It’s not about what we do, dear,

We are not the problem here.

We watch serene, your freak out scene.

We see your strengths, your skills, your care.

We know you’re kind and very fair.

You’re really great. Don’t be irate!

You perceive attacks where there are none.

There’s no one talking at your back.

You do not seek to clarify,

Oh, my, how you leap to conclusions

Each based simply on illusions.

I know perception makes reality

but I encourage you to find serenity

Ultimately, you can not be

great when you can’t see what true,

and when people are contentedly accepting you.


14 Responses to “poem-perception is reality”

  1. Happy Saturday to you, Shawn!

    Yours was the first post on my reel on this exquisite Saturday afternoon, so I paused on my way to my blog to read. I’m elated I did. This poem is an adjuster, spiritually. It reminds us to lay down the pretense of war, breathe and return to serenity. The final four lines resonated a quiet joy for me:

    “but I encourage serenity
    Ultimately, you can not be
    great when you can’t see what true,
    and when people are contentedly accepting you.”

    So true, so true.
    And this wayward, railing boy cannot even glean that self acceptance may possibly be the highest bliss.

    Have a fabulous weekend and do carry on! 🙂


  2. timbush222 Says:

    Thank you for this. It’s very beautiful.

  3. Let s/he follow the bliss that is buried under the rocks of self-loathing.

  4. tylerdtroutman Says:

    A good poem. I have paranoid schizophrenia so I see a little bit of stigma in what you say. You may not understand that some people’ s illusions are very real to them and so are the supposed voices speaking behind them. I am not irate about your poem. I do not get angry. I am serene like your poem says. I am interested in anything you have to say. Please do not be angry with me if I act like a schizo. Like everyone else I have good and bad days.

    • That is the point: one’s perception is one’s reality.
      It does not require a mental illness for this to be so, but it certainly applies to psychosis.

      Imagine you were having an episode of paranoia, presuming attack from a group of caring, accepting people, who recognize your illness, but also celebrate your skills outside your illness– that’s what’s happening in this poem. One does not need a mental illness to have these feelings of attack that are not warranted, so in this poem, the subject is reminded that s/he is valued despite his/her warped perceptions.

      Thanks for sharing your feelings. I am definitely aware of the stigma associated with mental illnesses, and know many people who are working hard to eliminate it, as well as many within and without my family circle who are dealing with it. It will not change without people challenging the stereotypes, so I appreciate your concern.

      • tylerdtroutman Says:

        Thank you so much for your kind reply. I see now that I was taking personally what was not personally directed to me. In a way, I was just checking my paranoid feelings about emailing you earlier. I have this feeling on the internet that people don’t like me.So you don’t feel any animosity toward me?

      • I don’t know you, Tyler.
        How could I have an opinion either way?

  5. doncarroll Says:

    really like this one shawn. your last comment here ya nailed it right on the head. there are those that only see it from one side. they don’t see what the people can do on the outside of it. as an example, my mother could flat out crochet, and afghans became one her most desired projects over the years. she even taught me how to do it when I was a young lad. the crocheting project I worked on was a hat. she had to start that dome area out, and then i’d do all the in between layers and then she’d finish it up to tie it all together. it’s the focus that it provides for one.

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