Shawn L. Bird

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

poem- prep July 14, 2018

Beneath a cloudless blue sky

I feel the storm coming,

black clouds gathering.

Could they reflect black shirts?

I ponder,

seriously,

if I should be building false walls

to hide those who will be escaping tyranny.

I wonder,

if I am far enough from a border to avoid

occupation.

A century ago,

they didn’t understand the signs,

but now we do.

Those who read are the first removed

when the evil rises.

Do all those kids who demanded,

“Why do we have to learn this?”

remember that their teachers said,

“So you’ll see the signs.”

“So it will never happen again.”

“Remember, they elected Hitler;

“they heiled and fell for his lies,

“because they wanted to believe their superiority,

“wanted a scapegoat for their troubles.”

There can be no excuses.

Shall I buy bricks or drywall?

Where will I construct false bottoms?

Where will we hide in the resulting rubble,

when the jack boots stomp through?

Another cristelnacht, this time in New York?

The hammock swings its consolation:

It can’t happen here.

It won’t happen here.

How many said those words a century

ago?

How many grew to knowing the meaning

of fear?

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writing- the research behind Finding inspiration and voice July 4, 2018

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:48 am
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I am presenting a few workshops this summer, as part of the Murdering Mr. Edwards book tour, and as such I have been researching.  In the Finding Inspiration and Voice: a workshop for novelists and poets workshop, participants explore character and plot development through a variety of prompts.

I am using the prompts to shake loose new ideas and bring out things ‘your brain knows, but isn’t tell you.’  This is a very unscientific way to explain creativity and its link to the subconscious, but there is science behind the concept, and here are some articles that may be of interest:

Andreasen, Nancy C. (MD PhD) A Journey into Chaos: Creativity and the Unconscious.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3115302/

“How to Stimulate Creative Breakthroughs: The Unconscious and Creativity.” The Academy of Ideas. https://academyofideas.com/2016/06/stimulating-creativity-unconscious

Seager, Charlotte. “How the subconscious mind shapes creative writing.” The Guardian. 2015 https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2015/apr/07/subconscious-mind-creative-writing-mark-haddon-michelle-paver

https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2015/05/researchers-tie-unexpected-brain-structures-to-creativity.html

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/317814542_A_Deeper_Understanding_of_Consciousness_Through_the_Study_of_Creativity

 

 

 

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poem-espresso June 27, 2018

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:30 pm
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I express myself

in languid liquid

tiny cup

great potential

rocket fueled fuming

consuming conflagration

fire eater me

Oh you

sip seductively

out of reach

but teach me

no one needs to see me

for you’re devouring words

making a meal of my brain burst

You don’t see me

but you feel me,

say the tears dripping down your cheeks.

I wield a mighty weapon,

anonymously.

 

Writing conferences: The Magical Realm June 6, 2018

Here’s a guest blog I wrote for Gail Anderson-Dargatz about the value of attending writing conferences:

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https://www.gailanderson-dargatz.ca/cms/index.php/resources/35-guest-blogs/326-shawn-l-bird

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Do you have a writing conference that has changed your life?  Tell me about it in the comments below!

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I’m always happy to present at conferences, too, so if you are an organizer, drop me a line.

 

poem-when May 29, 2018

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:56 am
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(An early Father’s Day poem)

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When I was little

your face was behind a camera

capturing moments of my small life,

fearlessly climbing the steps on the tallest slide,

thigh high stretches for a toddler,

far above your head,

not afraid;

no pain had touched me.

Your greatest gift was security

to grow up confident in your love.

No one else ever loved me so well

or with such shameless devotion.

Oh, how great my loss.

When I miss you,

as I often do,

my memories are lit with

gratitude,

gratitude,

gratitude.

 

poem- headphone man May 16, 2018

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:39 am
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Hey, headphone man

with your head cast down,

I drive past you each day as you soldier on your way,

Always in the same place, unless you are late,

or I am early.

I try to catch your eye, but you march with determination

toward your destination.

I want to share our small connection, give a wave, or smile,

but you just stare at the ground, absorbed in the sound in your head.

Hey headphone man!

Look around!

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I’ve been working on this one for ages, as I do pass this guy every day on my way to work.

 

poem- laughing eyes April 30, 2018

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:17 pm
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A poem for Cheryl: 1964-2018

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In every photo

you’re focused on those you love:

eyes gleaming,

radiating joy.

You wrap your arms around

grinning little girls,

smother them in kisses,

tackle them with tenderness.

Mother, mother, mother

in every fibre.

And now the children are bereft,

and your laughing eyes

have left the world.

We will look for your smile

in children who will never know you,

and see your laughter through your daughters’ eyes

as they embrace their babies.

 

 
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