Shawn L. Bird

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

poem- lying to yourself September 1, 2018

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:49 pm
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You make it

so

inside your head.

Convince yourself

you’re right

and true.

Ask for advice,

but

debate each position

deny each observation

sputter

rant

and grumble about lack of support.

If you don’t want

to hear,

don’t ask.

If you won’t consider

perspectives,

don’t request them.

If you only want approval,

just say,

“Aren’t I great!”

and don’t be surprised

by silence.

 

Writing conferences: The Magical Realm June 6, 2018

Here’s a guest blog I wrote for Gail Anderson-Dargatz about the value of attending writing conferences:

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https://www.gailanderson-dargatz.ca/cms/index.php/resources/35-guest-blogs/326-shawn-l-bird

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Do you have a writing conference that has changed your life?  Tell me about it in the comments below!

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I’m always happy to present at conferences, too, so if you are an organizer, drop me a line.

 

poem- The Bird by Patrick Lane April 28, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:08 pm
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From The Collected Poems of Patrick Lane (Harbour Publishing, 2011)

The Bird

The bird you captured is dead.

I told you it would die

but you would not learn

from my telling.  You wanted

to cage a bird in your hands

and learn to fly.

.

Listen again.

You must not handle birds.

They cannot fly through your fingers.

You are not a nest

and a feather is

not made of blood and bone.

.

Only words

can fly for you like birds

on the wall of the sun.

A bird is a poem

that talks of the end of cages.

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I’m attending a poetry retreat with Patrick Lane this summer, so I’ve been reading his work.  I’m looking forward to the opportunity to study with him!

 

 

poem-going July 19, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:47 am
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He’s going.

I feel him stretching out

like old elastic on the tops of pantyhose.

How old are your pantyhose?

That’s not the point.

You need to refresh your pantyhose, seriously

that elastic is good for a decade at least.

Oh forget I said it.  He’s going.  I can feel him slipping away.

Like pantyhose falling off your hips if they’re so old the elastic is brittle?

Well, yes.

I have some elastic lace.  We can sew it onto the pantyhose.  They’ll be like new.

It’s not about the pantyhose.

No.  It’s about the elastic.

No. It’s about the leaving.

You know, if you put a pair of panties over the pantyhose, it will keep them up.

Like a hug.

Exactly like a hug.  Sometimes the pantyhose work down a bit and are uncomfortable, but they stay up.

How do you know these things?

Oh.  We all have our emergency strategies.

Emergency.

Definitely.

Hmm.  Right.  Thanks.

 

 

poem-turn back time January 7, 2015

In Outlander,

Jamie, the good husband, is always giving his wife, Claire,  good advice.

He gives advice to keep her safe.

Stay here in this clearing, away from the soldiers.

Sage advice.

Stay here in the hold, away from the pirates.

Good counsel.

Claire, a modern woman with a mind of her own, makes her own decisions.

Her decisions often run counter to Jamie’s.

Invariably, Jamie has to bail her out of the trouble she’s landed in,

because she didn’t listen to him.

Today,

my good husband came home for lunch and said,

“Don’t go out there.  It’s treacherous!  I had to put down salt,

to melt the ice on the driveway!”

When he returned to work,

I saw the mail lady come.

I’m expecting a parcel.

There’s salt down.

What’s the worst that could happen?

I stepped on islands made by salt pellets

down our steep drive,

crossed the slippery road, and was within a meter of the mailbox

when I was splayed out on the edge of the road like a frog.

Ah!  So that’s the worse that could happen.

Stay here in the house, away from the ice, he’d said

And after, my good husband didn’t even say,

“I told you so.”

Oh, if I could turn back time!

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DSCN1452  5 hours in Emergency because I have a spiral fracture in my ankle, and apparently orthopaedic surgeon will screw in a plate tomorrow, but at least I don’t have to pay anything for this adventure thanks to Canadian MediCare!

🙂

Outlander is written by Diana Gabaldon.  It’s an amazing historical, time-travel, adventure, romance, amazing novel that you should read.  My husband adores it, and tried to get everyone he knows to read it, as do I.

 

poem- how to find writing ideas September 26, 2014

Filed under: OUTLANDERishness,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:11 am
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Just

pay

attention.

.

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I should probably give credit to Diana Gabaldon, who responded to a question about how she knows so much about human interaction. This was her response.

 

poem-ten thousand June 12, 2014

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:43 pm
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“No one

in the publishing industry

takes a blog seriously,”

said the presenter

“until it has at least

ten thousand followers.”

I thought about my three hundred

loyal followers and sighed.

I would never manage that.

For six months I thought

about her words, knowing what

WordPress said to do,

and how I wasn’t doing it.

So one April, two weeks

before I gave a social media workshop,

I tested their theories.

In two weeks, 444 followers

became a thousand.

Hmm. I thought.

If I keep doing this,

I could have ten thousand

in a year or so.

So I visited other blogs,

commented, and liked their work.

Introducing myself, and noticing others.

It’s the old mantra

‘the only way to have a friend

is to be a friend.’

and here we are!

14 months later,

ten thousand people

see my posts, leave their comments,

share my words, welcome me into their world

laugh with me

offer suggestions,

and make every day

interesting.

I send ten thousand

thank yous to each of you.

I’m grateful you’ve joined my journey

that you share your lives and your time.

Thank you

Thank you

Thank you.

 

 

 
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