Shawn L. Bird

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

music-Skye Boat Song on harp May 29, 2014

Here’s a little break from ranting poems or pugilistic poetry!  In honour of the upcoming Outlander TV show, here’s an ‘arrangement in progress’ I’ve made of The Skye Boat Song, which I’m betting is incorporated into the TV show theme.

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For the technically curious:

I am playing a double strung harp.  (This was definitely easier before I had bifocals, though it was challenging enough then).  There are three octaves on each side of the harp, tuned to the same notes.  44 strings in all.  This is a low-head Celtic harp, in the style of the famous Irish Brian Boru harp or the Scottish  Queen Mary harp.  It is also known as a Scottish clarsach.  Specifically, mine is a Brittany harp, built for me by Stoney End 15 years ago or so. (When I bought it the Canadian dollar was around 70c US, so it was pricey!)  It still has its original strings!  This says it’s a tough little harp, and that I’m a lazy harpist (some people change strings a couple of times a year, to keep the sound bright).  It is made from a lovely, shimmery grained cherry and has a Baltic birch soundboard with a pretty inlay strip at the base of the strings.  It keeps its tuning brilliantly- rarely needing more than a titch of adjustment here and there.  This is a rare blessing in a harp!

Here are The Skye Boat Song lyrics as I say them to myself while I’m playing (which does not in any way imply they are the correct lyrics!)

Speed bonny boat like a bird on the wing

Onward the sailors cry

Carry the lad that’s born to be king

Over the sea to Skye!

Loud the winds blow

Loud the waves crash

Ocean’s a weary bed

La la la la

la la la la                           (< < < < pretty sure those aren’t the right lyrics)

Watch o’er your weary head

oh                                        (That’s the soft D sounded to start back into the chorus)

Speed bonny boat… (etc)

I always thought somehow Flora McDonald was on this boat with him, but I think that’s just me.

 

I promise OJ the standard poodle is only sleeping, though he certainly does look dead.  He is snoring now, in the exact same position.

 

 

poem- wall whispers February 2, 2014

Listen

to whispers,

stories in the wall.

Poems found,

Titles titillate,

tease, and

tantalize.

Writing on the wall

whispers

through the room.

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Last weekend I started wallpapering my dining room with pages from a book.  I was given a copy of Diana Gabaldon’s Drums of Autumn last fall.  I already have a copy, and the gift had a broken binding, so I pondered ways to use it for practical purpose.  Today I’m putting the finishing touches on.  Most of the wall layout is fairly straight-forward, but I had 9 extra inches that I centred, and there I’ve been playing.  I’ve included copies of autographs we have in other Diana Gabaldon books (copied onto a blank page of the book to match perfectly).  I’ve cut graphic  bits from Part divisions and used them decoratively.  I’ve taken chapter titles and made them into little poems.  I’m really liking my very unique wall!  

 This is a close up on a ‘poem section’ made with section and chapter titles:

Je t’aime

beaucoup

passionnément

pas de tout.

Blame

Forgiveness

The toss of a coin.

wall-jtaimepoemdry

Here are the dedications (John’s is actually in the copy of The Scottish Prisoner and says “For John- No one looks better than a man in a kilt!”  Mine is in The Exile and says, “To Shawn, Wonderful to meet you in person!”):

wall-dedications

Here’s a step back at the wall.  The diamond medallions spaced across the top were from dividing pages:

wall-fullfinished

 

found poem- chapter titles from MOBY by Diana Gabaldon December 12, 2013

Diana Gabaldon just posted the Chapter 82  to 94 titles for her next book in the Outlander series, entitled Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (aka MOH-B, aka MOBY)  Those chapter titles were mixed to create this ‘found poem.’  Words in bold are Diana’s titles.  Regular print and punctuation are mine.  The fun with found poetry, is that one often senses something profound hovering just below understanding.  Can you find a message here?

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Keeping Score:

    One Day Cock of the Walk—Next Day, A Feather Duster

but

I Will Not Have Thee Be Alone

on the    

Long Road Home

Through

    Sundown

         Nightfall

            Moonrise or

                The Sense of the Meeting

                    In Which Rosy-Fingered Dawn Shows Up Mob-Handed.

A Whiff of Roquefort

in

The House on Chestnut Street

reveals that

It’s a Wise Child Who Knows His Father

Oh yes, for

Even People Who Want to Go to Heaven Don’t Want to Die to Get There.

 

poem-false November 30, 2013

Filed under: fun,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:09 pm
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They lie

across my lids

stuck like  caterpillars

Coyly magnifying

each magnificent blink,

each flirtatious flutter,

adding power to each

sultry glower,

Prepare prey

to be ensnared,

enter and be

rendered helpless,

as I flash

these false

eyelashes.

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avalashessmall

 

Today is hubby’s birthday, and I managed to get these lashes back on (last worn on my birthday, see photo above).  They’re fun, but they sure feel weird! 😉

 

 

video- wonderful start to Christmas November 24, 2013

Filed under: fun,video — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:26 pm
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This is absolutely delightful.  Florence Baptist Temple in Burlington, Kentucky, USA sure put on a great show for their Singing Christmas Tree! These young men are quite awesome.  In honour of the beginning of the Christmas season: Enjoy!

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poem- MOBY dreams (chapter titles found poem) November 18, 2013

Diana Gabaldon just released the next set of chapter titles (68-81) for her next novel, “My Own Heart’s Blood.”  They looked like they were asking to be a poem, so now they are.  I have taken the liberty of re-ordering them for my own purposes.  She assures readers there are no spoilers, but I make no such promises. (ha!)  I usually use phrases exactly as found, but in this case, the bold words are the titles, and anything not bolded is added for sense or transition (or my own entertainment).

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The Cider Orchard
High Noon

A Single Louse

In the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

ponders the

Peculiar Behavior of a Tent, full of

Morasses and Imbroglios,

a Folie à Trois,

The Dangers of Surrendering to passion are,

The Sort of Thing That Will Make a Man Sweat and Tremble,

(and a louse, too) when it must

Go Out in Darkness.

 Consider,

The Price of Burnt Sienna:

is a Sparrow-Fart
Among the Tombstones

Pater Noster

Holy louse,

wrong place, wrong time, indeed.

 

poem- button (on a blue shirt) September 11, 2013

Filed under: fun,OUTLANDERishness,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:22 am
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I’m nuttin’

but a simple button.

battling the blues.

Holding fast

amid adversity

standing against stress and strain

I see you stare

I do not care.

While ripping seams are heard in dreams

accompanied by delirious screams

I’m a button with a function–

Keeping everything together

against the odds,

without applause.

For Sam, I can!

Because, madame

I do my button best

clinging lest things explode

against his chest.

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Dedicated to the button straining on that blue shirt.  It has a Twitter account.  Seriously.

 

video- wherein Shawn recites a tongue twister with increasing speed August 28, 2013

Filed under: fun,video — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:16 pm
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One of my stranger talents is the recitation of this tongue twister.  My students over the years have been entertained, and the last couple of years they have encouraged me to record it for Youtube.  Here it is at last!  lol  Enjoy! 😉

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The words are,

“Betty Botter bought some butter, but she said, the butter’s bitter.  If I put it in my batter, it will make my butter bitter.  So she bought a bit of butter, better than the bitter butter, and she put it in her batter and the batter wasn’t bitter. So t’was better Betty Botter bought a bit of better butter.”

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poem- drinking problem August 27, 2013

Filed under: fun,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:18 pm
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Your rose velvet tongue

washes with water, cool and clear

You stretch and strain as if to gather

rain drops-

but stop!

Listen!

as you lick those glistening lips,

Your kisses become unwelcome, quick!

We stand  disgusted and agog:

Don’t drink

from the toilet,

dog!

 

Sesame Street- Sons of Poetry August 16, 2013

Filed under: fun,Poetry,video — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:45 pm
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I have to show this to my English classes on Poetry Friday next year. lol

The Sons of Poetry aren’t quite as efficient as Rhymezone.com, but they’re much more entertaining!

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