Shawn L. Bird

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

sharing July 24, 2017

Filed under: Commentary,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 7:08 pm
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Being A Girl: A Brief Personal History of Violence

I wonder how many women do not have these stories in their lives?  I suspect there are few if any.  We acknowledge these stories, but so rarely bother to stand up to them, because they are ubiquitous.  I am glad to see the light being shone on them and the label being attached.  Yes, these are assaults.  Yes, this is violence.  This is why some cultures are so protective of girls, but why, why, why can’t the blame be put entirely where it belongs- on the perpetrators of this violence?

Perhaps because that requires us to look at our own dark natures?

I was recently reading an article that talked about the passive label like “Violence against women” as if there is no agent acting.  Where does that violence come from?  Not the ether.  Let’s label the agents, not the objects of the action.



poem- performance art July 22, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 7:24 pm
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I know,

that sometimes my performance faltered.

I reached down or up for notes that would not be seized.

I fumbled  at times with pitch, tune, entrances, but

every time

I believed.

I believed I was selling crumbs to birds

who were going to die horrible deaths

without them.

I believed that every person

within the sound of my voice should buy

just a small bag for the ‘ungry young ones.

My voice trembled with my belief, as I gazed out at the faces,

beseeching each and every one to part with a tuppence.


You believed.

Stranger, how you clung to my arm,

when me met on the sidewalk, months later,

eager to tell me how you’d heard my voice

in your head weeks afterwards.  How beautiful it was.

How it made you wept.

I, who knew every vocal fault,

struggled to believe

that my believing,

had been enough to reach past my inadequacy.

Thank you

for reminding me,

it’s the only thing that connects

in the end.



Image (c) Evan Buhler used with permission. “Feed the Birds”. Mary Poppins Shuswap Theatre 2016.

Me, being The Bird Woman November-December 2016.  

I met a fan of the show yesterday and struggled once again to come to terms with the fact that our art has its own life and power.  It can transcend us to speak poignant messages to receptive ears.


poem- Jingle Pot Road. Nanaimo July 18, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:19 am
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Jingle Pot Road.

You make me want to belly dance

along your length,

as you meander back and forth

across the highway–

a serpentine of signposts–

Shimmy! Jingle! Pop! Road.


poem-ocean tears-valtameren kyyneleet July 16, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:48 am

Sydämeni lentää meren yli.

Käteni ulottuvat valtameren yli.

Täyttävät välimatkaa, omat kyyneleet.

Voi, mitä olemme menettäneet.

Nyt purjehtii taakse auringon.

The Youtube version.

Yesterday, a warm and generous man sailed off this earth: my 4th host father from my time as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student in Finland.  He’d waged a long battle with cancer, and now he may rest.  

Here’s the translation:

My heart flies across the sea.

My arms reach across an ocean.

My tears fill the space between us.

Oh, what we have lost,

now sailing beyond the sun.




poem- leavings July 15, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:29 pm
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Reaching inside the chair

.     deep in the cushions

.     I am sliced by a workman’s

.     lost staple pack

.     sharp edges up.

.     It tears my flesh,

.     leaves my blood on the leather.

Sometimes, behind us

.     we leave words

.     meant for construction.


.     our leavings

.     bite.




poem- Hwy 19: missed connection July 14, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:38 pm
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You sit,

back against the Merge sign

inviting convergence

.              connection.

I see,

the next  sign, No Hitchhiking.

Pick up is illegal.

I drive by.


poem-The Poetry Retreat is Over July 9, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 7:05 pm
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The Poetry Retreat is Over

I am the last to leave.

The GPS battery is dead;

I don’t know where to go from here.