Shawn L. Bird

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

poem-with alacrity May 30, 2015

(for DG)  🙂

In whatever capacity

you deal with animousity,

develop a good strategy

to sort out dreaded calumny,

then avoid falling into laxity

and resolve it with alacrity!

.

.

Another poem dedicated (with tongue in cheek) to Outlander author, Diana Gabaldon.  The phrase ‘with alacrity’ appears frequently in Outlander, and whenever it does I shout enthusiastically “WITH ALACRITY!” and chuckle.  (Alacrity means haste, FYI).  It’s silly, but it is not much different than throwing boxes of KD at a Barenaked Ladies concert or toast during Rocky Horror Picture Show. (Neither of which I’ve done, unfortunately, so I have to settle with shouting to a book.  Kind of sad, really.)  😉

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question- what is molestation? May 21, 2015

I just heard about celebrity big brother from 19 Kids and Counting Josh Duggar’s confession that when he was a young teen, he behaved inappropriately with younger females, that he underwent counselling, and while he’s sorry about it, he’s received his forgiveness and moved on.

The internet seems full of those who label him a molester and think he should have been sent to jail.  I am somewhat confused by this response, because to my mind, a young teen, awash in hormones he doesn’t know how to deal with, is a boy in need of good counsel, frank conversation, and restorative justice, not a boy who needs to be tossed into jail.

I don’t know the details of Josh’s case, but then neither do those commenting all over the internet, so let’s keep this theoretical:

Facts: Young teen brains are not developed, therefore, impulse control is undeveloped. Pubescent hormones impact judgment.

I have to say that I think this kind of scenario speaks more loudly for the needs of young people to have thorough sex education- including not just the biology of their changing bodies but frank discussion regarding sexual autonomy and gratification.  Those of us who remember the wildly fluctuating passions of our first crushes need to remember that this is all extremely complex and confusing for 13 and 14 year old kids.  Media is assaulting them with messages about what sexuality means, their families and faith communities may have contradictory views.  How much did you discuss this stuff with your parents?  How much do you discuss with your kids?  I think our kids from toddlerhood need to know what is okay touching.  They need to know that they have autonomy over their bodies and that they should keep their hands off other people’s bodies.  But if they don’t, what should happen?

So here’s my question, with respect to pubescent youth– What is assault?  What is abuse?  What is mutual curiosity? What is counselor worthy and what is criminal?   Are there age lines?  Intent lines?  Subjugation lines?  What do you think is appropriate?  How would you want your son dealt with if he confessed to touching younger girls?

What is criminal responsibility for kids?

In the interest of disclosure, I am married to a youth probation officer who deals with this every day.  There definitely can be psychopathic rapists at 14, but they are a rare commodity.  Let’s concentrate on average kids.

 

2014 in review December 29, 2014

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:20 pm
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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Thanks for being part of this year’s amazing growth!

Just in case you’re curious…

Click here to see the complete report.

I think it’s always interesting to compare where you are with others, just for a sign post of development, so here are my stats.

I think it was a great blogging year!

Special thanks to the 13,000+ followers who visit regularly!

 

poem-stacks October 30, 2014

Filed under: Literature,Reading — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:44 pm
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Row on row

books rest, wise and eager

waiting for a hopeful reader

Someone seeking information

or an escape into fiction.

In racks and stacks

new worlds await

and the library is the gate.

 

Centenarian! October 11, 2014

Filed under: anecdotes,Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 8:18 pm
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Dad’s 93rd birthday

My father’s 100th birthday is being celebrated at our Thanksgiving Dinner tomorrow, though there are still 2 weeks until the official day.  (Yes, I was a late in life baby). 🙂

Dad was born in Montreal in 1914.  He had two older brothers, but he was the only one to survive to adulthood.  He remembers the soldiers returning from World War One.  He was run over by a (new!) Model T Ford when he was 3.  He was an active member of Boy Scouts and saw Lord and Lady Baden-Powell when they visited North America in 1935.

He worked for Burroughs-Wellcome Pharmaceuticals in the 30s. During WW2, he tried to enlist, but they refused him, because the doctor heard a heart murmur.  He built aircraft at Fairchilds in Longueuil, instead.  In the 50s, he and a friend came to Vancouver and started Maco Industries, a building supply wholesaler.  For the next forty years he worked for them, retiring finally around 70.

He was married twice.  He had 3 adopted sons with his first wife who had tuberculosis and couldn’t have children.  His second wife brought 3  children into the marriage, they had one biological child (me!).

He was an avid tennis player and table tennis player.  He was playing tennis into his 70s.  He was still playing table tennis when legally blind, into his 80s.  He couldn’t see the ball, but he could see the shape of his opponent’s paddle, and knew where the ball would be.  He walked several kilometers each day until his 90s.

Dad never passes a children’s drink stand without buying a cup.

For entertainment at his party tomorrow, I’m looking for questions for an Ask a Centenarian! event.

Here’s your chance.  Leave a question in the comments, and we’ll ask him.  If technology allows, we may even film him responding to your questions.  If there are quite a few, I’ll keep asking over the next few weeks during the season of his birthday festivities.

So– what would you like to ask?

 

 

poem- looking (an #Outlander poem) September 29, 2014

“I want to look,”

she says.

Finger outlining

the focus of

her attention,

she walks

a slow, studious circle

of analysis

and inevitable

appreciation.

.

“Fair’s fair,”

he says,

stepping back

with a glint in his eye,

joyfully

thankful for circumstance

that made her

his.

.

.

.

Another poem based on Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander;  this one based on Ron Moore’s TV series, specifically episode 107, “The Wedding.”

 

poem-soul rain September 18, 2014

Filed under: Commentary,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:34 am
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It’s grey and misty out

like our future

Vote yes?

Vote no?

Rain on our

hopes.

.

.

.

(This is actually about the BC Teachers’ ratification vote, but since Scotland is also in the midst of its independence vote, I dedicate it to the Scots as well!)

 

 
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