Shawn L. Bird

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

playgrounds and graveyards May 31, 2021

The elders told you.
Trembling voices.
Feathers clutched for courage.
They told you of their sisters, brothers, and cousins
who did not come home.
Those who crept out at night and
walked through wilderness to return home.
Those who got sick and died.
Those who were beaten.
Those who were broken.
Those who were battered.
So many buried.
The elders told you how truth had been buried, too.


So many lost children.
Now 215 have been found.
Their bones are proof to the elders’ words.
Who is surprised?
Children buried in unmarked graves.
See what is also buried there:
Denial. Shame.
Voices rise in sorrow.
Now what will be done
to bring peace to the children who survived?
Grown with a burden of brokeness. Grief swallowed.
How will the elders’ trauma be relieved?

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This poem references the discovery of the mass grave of 215 children on the grounds of the Kamloops Residential School. Read an article about it here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/tk-eml%C3%BAps-te-secw%C3%A9pemc-215-children-former-kamloops-indian-residential-school-1.6043778

 

poem-blurred May 3, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:37 am
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Today

life is soft focus

foggy view.

Slow brain.

Whole body blurred,

translucent.

If someone took a photo

would I be a phantom?

 

poem-weekend weary May 1, 2021

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:57 am

Was there ever such a time
when we pushed so wearily into weekends?
Dragged each day at the jobs we love
just to make it to a day of rest
Saturday sleep in twelve, fourteen, sixteen hours
Recovery.
So much stress.
The weight of worry.
We need freedom from loss and pain.
A return to life that’s sane again.
In the meantime, drag, lag, sag, zigzag
to peace time.

 

poem-getting there April 30, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:20 am
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It’s easy to find.

You know where the old RCMP station was?
No? Well. So.

You go straight up the hill from there.
Turn left where the McGuires lived

Until what they used to call Riflerange Rd
No idea what they call it now.

Keep going until that house that used to
have a hair salon in the basement

Our place used to be a B and B.
You’ll see, we have a great view

We’re eagerly waiting for you!

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NaPoWriMo Prompt 30 was to write a poem giving directions. I used the style of direction giving most heard in Salmon Arm, where I live. All the old timers give directions based on where things used to be or what they used to be called. The re-naming (numbering) of streets, some 40 years ago has not sat well!

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poem-outside April 29, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:53 am
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(Napowrimo day 29 is about describing a scene out a window, but this morning I was standing in a doorway observing, so I’ll use that moment).

This morning outside my door,

cacophony of small birds

catcalling to the universe:

Oooh baby! Look at me!

Our place! Get away!

Twittering spring tumult

screeches and titters.

The world persists,

though you have ceased.

 

poem-lilo April 28, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:57 pm
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Our friendship can lie low

for months and years

Wading through the morass of obligations

from family and job.

Fallow fields tended on Facebook

with a like or a care emoji.

Does anyone else write letters any more?

I miss live laughter,

the belly aching kind,

making new memories.

I miss voices harmonizing until the cells

reverberate into joy.

Time doesn’t lie between us

it surrounds us

paints its creases on our skin

but within, this friendship

hasn’t aged a day.

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Napowrimo Day 28. This actually links to the prompt from yesterday which was to explore ‘an obscure sorrow’. Yesterday, my sorrow was too overt for obscurity. Lilo is an interesting concept. I have so many friends whom I only see once a year at certain writing conferences, or others that I may go years between seeing. My friends and adopted families in Finland, I don’t see for decades, but I think of them often, and when I see them, it is like we slot back into each other’s lives like no time has passed. As if I could be the neighbour next door. Some days, I wish I were. It is hard when real life means you can’t be with the people who fill your heart. I must say, I definitely appreciate how Facebook has made it easier to touch into those distance friends far more easily.

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poem- are you singing now? April 27, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:38 pm
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in the end

you had to sing the hymns in your head

fill your mind with the music

that could not escape

in the end

she held your hand

entwined your fingers

listened to your last breath

in the end

angels embraced you

brought you into their choirloft

and left us all bereft,

at your beginning.

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NaPoWriMo Day 27.
A bit of an elegy. This April has been full of poems of grieving. *Another* dear one died yesterday. (5 precious souls lost to us in 10 mos, 3 in April alone!) His glorious voice is now raised with the angels, but oh how we will miss it here on Earth. RIP Randy
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poem-carvings April 26, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:45 am
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Outside my window: blue sky, new green.

Promise and potential

A future of fecundity.

Inside my heart: fog, ice

You are gone

The planet is too joyful

for such a day.

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NaPoWriMo Day 26.
The prompt today was for a humorous parody, but as I received the news of the death of another dear person in my life this weekend, humour is not on my mind. 4 great losses in 10 months. What a wearisome year this has been.
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poem- weekend April 24, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:30 pm
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Daily countdown

Five days

Four days

Three days (Hump day!)

Two days!

Six hours!

Four hours!

Two hours!

Home at last

Collapse

Sleep ten hours

Twelve hours.

Fourteen hours.

Early to bed.

Sunday- recovery!

Look around

enjoy the sun

deal with chores

Early to bed

Ten hours

’til it starts again.

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NaPoWriMo day 24. Has anyone found themselve just completely exhausted over the last year? Between brain injury recovery, three family deaths, and the stress of increase in Covid cases and dangerous variants (and positive cases in kids within the local school system…) I don’t think I’ve ever had as hard a year. How about you?

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Poem- left hanging April 23, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:59 pm
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Craft it up.
Send it out
Check it off.
The intentions were there,
But I’m staring at the screen
seeing blurs
realizing it’s dream-time.
My off-switch just flipped,
so this poem will be left unfinished
until my brain is back on-line.
Perhaps tomorrow some time?

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NaPoWriMo day 23. Shakespeare’s birthday! I was going to play with a sonnet for their response prompt. Perhaps another day!
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