Shawn L. Bird

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

poem-perception is reality May 9, 2015

Oh, I know the row you hoe

is dreary and full of woe!

or so you are inclined to think

but we are not defined by your narrow ink

We see you fear to be seen as less

You shout. you rave, you wave distress

It’s not about what we do, dear,

We are not the problem here.

We watch serene, your freak out scene.

We see your strengths, your skills, your care.

We know you’re kind and very fair.

You’re really great. Don’t be irate!

You perceive attacks where there are none.

There’s no one talking at your back.

You do not seek to clarify,

Oh, my, how you leap to conclusions

Each based simply on illusions.

I know perception makes reality

but I encourage you to find serenity

Ultimately, you can not be

great when you can’t see what true,

and when people are contentedly accepting you.

 

poem-identity March 15, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:04 pm
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Hovered over the computer

you groan about how you’ve been screwed up

by school schedules that don’t let you take

the courses you need to graduate.

Something from grade nine,

another from grade ten,

a couple from grade eleven,

how can you fit it in twelve?

School’s fault.

Not your fault, of course.

Never your fault

for not coming to class,

for not doing your work,

for not taking advantage of offers to help

for not being respectful of your peers

for not accepting support,

for not passing the courses.

One or two (or three or four)

missed credits each year.

It’s the school’s fault.

Of course, it is.

Everything is hard for you.

Why?

Why?

Why?

You strike the question,

a damning indictment.

I will tell you,

though you won’t hear:

This is why:

Because you don’t see that

you choose.

You choose

to work.

You choose

to fail.

You choose.

Until you choose

to be responsible

for every choice,

to admit you failed because you chose

not to work,

not to accept help,

not to accept the consequences of

your choices,

life will always

seem unfair.

It’s not life that’s unfair.

It’s you who is refusing

to own your reality.

Accept responsibility for yourself.

What are you afraid of?

Be!

 

 

 

poem- offensive March 8, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 4:39 pm
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I am offended by this object.

In my messy,

but perfectly coordinated, kitchen

you have filled the clear soap dispenser

with acid yellow dish detergent,

instead of clear or white

as is the aesthetic choice.

It glares at me:

caution colour

screaming incongruity.

It hurts my eyes;

it seers my sensibility.

But you are proud

of your helpfulness,

and this is your house, too.

Perhaps if I squint,

it will be invisible?

.

.

⇓ ⇓ ⇓ ⇓ ⇓ ⇓ ⇓ ⇓ ⇓ ⇓ ⇓ ⇓ ⇓ ⇓ ⇓ ⇓

This piece works with the theme SHARING SPACE on today’s http://www.shawnbird.com/poetic-diversity-project

Please consider sharing a poem or a link on this theme and help me with my grad school course!

 

Poem- On another year July 17, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 4:31 am
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You stand silently apart

You hover on the edges

distinct

observant

I mingle like sugar in water

wondering

wishing

longing

to draw you

into my arms

to hold you

to anchor you.

But you don’t know where

those hands have been.

You seek a quiet place

to find a peaceful oasis

for the discomfort of that skin

for the ramble of those thoughts

for the torture of that crowd

I stand apart

and watch you pull yourself

in pieces

I’m laughing and chatting

and wishing I could be enough

to give you courage

strength

faith in yourself,

but I’m not.

No matter how much

my heart is full to bursting

with wanting it.

You have to be

enough

alone.

 

this letter is purple September 14, 2011

Every one of my students is special and unique.

I don’t care if they’re white, black, green or purple.
I don’t care if they are drama kids, jocks, or computer nerds.
I don’t care if they are tattoed, pierced, or sport virgin skin.
I don’t care if they are rich or poor.
I don’t care who they want to have sex with.

I don’t want any of my students to feel  hopeless and alone because of gender identity or sexual orientation .

I care that my students feel valued and safe.
I care that they can get information they need to live healthy and happy lives.
I care that they have role models who can show them how to behave respectfully, amid individual differences.
I care that they know their biology is not a crime or a sin.
I care that they know that they are worthy of acceptance and respect.

I care that they leave school and lead productive lives full of love and friendship.

I want each of them to choose life.

I support the purple letter campaign to adopt a provincial policy of inclusion and acceptance in our schools.

Our kids are worth it.

All of them.

.

PS.  I’m proud of my former student, Ryan Clayton.  He does amazing work to raise issues of sexuality in our province.  He makes a difference  for students who need the message of acceptance that  he brings to them.  For some, it is a matter of life and death.  Thanks, Ryan!

 

Remembering Masks… July 16, 2011

Filed under: Friendship,Pondering — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:04 pm
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Once upon a time, on this day in history a few days after I turned 13, I had a life changing conversation with a friend. He shared with me a short story he’d found called “Masks.” It was profound and the resulting conversation about honesty and being true to yourself left me in a cloud.

In fact, when I got home, people were afraid there had been a lot more than conversation going on, since I was so dazed and blissful.

I don’t remember the details of the story anymore, and I don’t remember the conversation either. What I remember is the attachment that came from listening and being heard. I remember the comfort of someone I admired spending time with me. I remember the sense of connection, fondness, and adoration.

It was still resonating enough at my graduation that 716 was the number on my grad t-shirt.

It still resonates enough that I’m writing this blog about it decades later.

So Happy Masks Anniversary. May you live your life unafraid to be yourself and to accept others as themselves. May you speak words of honesty with warmth.  May you be the kind of person who draws others to your sincerity and good humour.   May you be an inspiration that echoes through the decades.
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PS. If you know the story “Masks,” which was apparently from a youth writing anthology published in the late 70s, I’d appreciate knowing about it.  I would love to read it again.

 

 
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