Shawn L. Bird

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

“In the forest, upon the oak, I was spinning the thread for a shirt.” May 19, 2022

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:57 pm

Beautiful and poignant words from poet and author Theresa Kishkan

...Theresa Kishkan, writer...

in the honeysuckle

In Ukraine, in 2019, I bought two vyshyvanky, the embroidered shirts that encode so much of traditional life and culture. The one on the right uses rhombus forms that I believe symbolize the unity of male and female principles, sown fields, prosperity.

geometric

The other vyshyvanka has poppies embroidered on the yoke and sleeves. The poppy is a protection against the evil eye.

on my sleeve

I remember the difficulty in choosing a vyshyvanka among the thousands available in the Kosiv market, each one more beautiful than the last. Some were so heavy with embroidery that I couldn’t imagine actually wearing them — and I wanted to wear mine. I still think of the one that got away, not in Kosiv but in Lviv, at the end of my trip, when my suitcase was full and I thought I’d spent enough money. That one? It was black, with appliqued yoke and sleeves in deep…

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YAY! April 6, 2022

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:00 pm

I just discovered that my submission to the 2022 Okanagan Short Story contest was short listed! The contest is sponsored by the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies at University of British Columbia (Okanagan).

I have been short listed in this contest several times: 2022, 2020, 2015 (and perhaps another year, but I can’t find note of it, lol).

I won’t name the story, since it will be submitted for some other contests.

 

poem- room February 17, 2022

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:19 pm
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there is space here

enough for me

enough for you

if you’re kind, thoughtful

and respectful; we have room.

you don’t have to be beautiful

or conform to notions of who you should be

so long as others’ genuine needs

are okay with you,

too.

 

poem-Why aren’t you playing? February 10, 2022

Filed under: Poetry,poodles — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:43 pm
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Ramona spent the weekend racing around

The agility arena with her latest training partner,

Sewing personalized dog coats for friends,

Feeding a platoon of poodles

And a concert of birds,

Laughing,

Doing,

Playing.

Ramona didn’t dwell on the degeneration

That made most days painful;

She didn’t focus on the losses,

The quotidian agonies of aging.

When I posted a plaintive photo of my dog captioned,

“Play with me, Mom?”

Ramona asked, “So why aren’t you playing?”

Mere hours later, Ramona left the earth.

Her last words to me ring a challenge

Amid these pain-filled days.  We have just one life to embrace

What brings us joy.  Despite all the grief,

The sun still rises; there are things to do.  Today, find time

to play.

.

.

.

Rest in Peace, Ramona Stirling

 

poem- O My Cron January 5, 2022

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:54 pm
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“We don’t know
what we’re doing next,”
they said.

“Just expect
that you’ll catch the virus,
so leave instructions at your desk.

“There may be no one
to cover your job;
sorry about that.

“Don’t let uncertainty (or fear of death)
dull your passion
for the work.

“We so appreciate
everything
you do.

“Don’t worry, just relax;
what doesn’t kill you
makes you stronger.”



.

(This is a triversen poem. Each stanza is three lines that make a complete sentence)

 

poem- Daddy’s sweater December 17, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:29 pm
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I am zipped up in Daddy’s green sweater.
Mom knitted, purled, cabled together
some semblance of love.
He wore it with joy almost every day,
telling all admirers how it was made with love.
It’s wrapped around me,
but it’s not his firm arms,
not his smell (which wasn’t peppermint
or aftershave, but just him),
not his whisper in my ears,
Love you so much.
How can another year have past
without him? How can a sweater
be both so full
and so bereft of him?

 

Crushed December 15, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:55 pm
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Beneath the rock slide
I lie gasping.
So many stones squashing
the life out of me,
Covid, isolation, tension,
anxiety in others,
illness, recent deaths,
responsibility, each a
pebble piled
until breathing seems
an impossibility.
Where is the safety crew
to clear the debris
so we can be well,
be free of despair,
be who we used
to be.

 

Karmic dino court November 19, 2021

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:31 pm
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In an alternate Earth
injustices do not exist.
The universe feeds liars
to tyrannosauri rex,
which devour slowly
or quickly as befits.

 

poem-gone August 3, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:53 pm
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Beyond us

the world has gone

swallowed in grey

a haze that glows orange

at night, around the edges that once

were mountains.

We cannot breathe.

Beyond us

the world has gone.
.

.

.

.

Purpleair.com reports our air quality has improved today. We’re down to 389 from 450s (out of 500) earlier in the week. Still “extremely hazardous.” Wildfires are most unpleasant, particularly where valleys converge and smoke from several fires gathers. The smoke is visible in the street and yards. 254 active fires in our province, over 40% of them out of control. 4 large fires in our local region. Thousands of people evacuated or on alert. Hoping for a weekend of lightning-less rain to wash the sky and allow for deep breaths again! Our lovely 30 degree Celsius summer is wasted when one can’t be outside.

 

poem-what’s falling July 29, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:12 pm
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In the porch light

ash is illuminated

specks of falling sky

pieces of evergreen needles

drop onto my arm

leave lines of black.

It hurts to breathe this grey air;

forests blazing hurt the heart.

Pray for rain, or better, snow.

(because, you know, snow

doesn’t bring lightning
or more fire).

 

 
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