Shawn L. Bird

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

poem-jaundiced August 16, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:51 pm
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Your photo

sends me back thirty years.

In your place,

I see your old man:

his suspicious eye

pot belly

and bald head.

He was nearly eighty

and always angry.

You hardly look younger

with your belly and baldness,

and you’re wearing

his discontent

like an inherited suit.

It’s ageing you more

than your years are.


poem-circles July 6, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:02 am
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one quarter century

one half century

one century

blood linked


a circle

of life.




Happy birthday to me, in a rather auspicious year in our family.


poem- what are you saying? February 8, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:11 pm
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The dress is tight

and youthful.

You beam, when people say

“You look great!”

But from a distance

they observe

the bulges from

the botched cosmetic surgery,

and the fake parts glued here and there.

They sigh how sad it is

that you feel you need to try so hard

to be a plastic doll

instead of you.

True beauty is not

about artificial expectations

it’s about being confident

as you are

and celebrating

that your uniqueness

is beautiful.


poem- weak longevity August 24, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:34 am
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My father age twenty-five.

his desires divided,

stood in line with naked men

waiting for the army to welcome them.

They listened to his slow, weak heart,

and said he’d stay home to do his part.

My father age twenty-five

managed to stay alive.

While his friends went off to foreign shores,

at home he built bombers for the war.

His friends returned broken and stayed,

with their damaged mates from their brigades.

Dad was whole and grieved the loss

of friendships torn by life or death.

On the decades rolled

and now each soul

who stood entwined within that line

is gone, save dad, whose slow, frail heart

turned out to be his strongest part.

Dad thinks back upon that line,

and celebrates birthday ninety-nine.


Baby boy June 14, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:17 pm
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Baby boy,

blue blanket tucked into your chin,

Thumb in in mouth, jaw moving tch-tch-tch-tch.

Perfect tiny face,

an animated melon

beneath the blanket,

immersed in the sweet scent of diaper powder.

I blink.

Baby boy,

Body stretched across the mattress,

Toes draped over the edge,

blankets splayed across your waist,

whiskers bristling your chin.

Mouth agape: GRZZZZ-GRRRRZ-GrrrrrrZ

in the pungent scent of sweat.

Baby boy.




(Even when they’re men, their mothers see the babies they once held in their arms.)


Today I’m 21 July 6, 2010

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:47 am
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To keep the heart unwrinkled, to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful, reverent -that is to triumph over old age.
– Thomas Bailey Aldrich

It is my birthday. Today I am 21.  Again. I’ve been 21 quite a few times. I’ve also been 29 and 35. I’ve been older, too, but not often. Age depends on attitude more than number. A cheerful, fun loving way of enjoying life keeps us youthful.  Today I’m full of all the things that 21 has always been for me: Joyful. Full of anticipation for opportunities unfolding ahead.  Appreciative of the wonderful people in my life. Thankful an amazing year just past.

In New Moon, Jacob tells Bella, “Age is just a number, baby.” He’s right. One can re-define the parameters for new numbers. Is my dog 10? Or 70? Or some other age? My mom is 80, but apparently she is far too young to go to activities at the Seniors’ Centre, because “those are for old people.” Contrarily, I attend a lot of activities where I am the youngest person there. I’m frequently the youngest person in my Rotary Club, for example. I am often the only woman with natural hair, though.

J.. P. Senn advised, “Let us respect gray hairs, especially our own.” I couldn’t agree more. I was 35 and completely ‘platinum blonde’ on top when I chose to embrace the natural look rather than continuing with society’s pressure to spend a fortune to colour my hair every couple of weeks I figure I’ve saved well over a thousand dollars in home colour kits since I did. (I’ve spent it in jewelery, another natural adornment for a woman!) It was fascinating to be in Italy and to not see a single Italian feminine grey head in two weeks. Black hair everywhere, and to be honest, not too many touch up lines in evidence, so they were obviously really diligent about it. Our society is afraid to accept change. Grey hair is assumed to suggest incapacity, lack of virility, and nostalgia. What happened to wisdom, experience, knowledge?

Is it ironic that my students think that I bleach my hair this colour, because they don’t think it can possibly be natural? They’ve so rarely seen naturally silver hair that they don’t understand that it can occur on a youthful face. No wrinkles, but silver hair. How old is she? Is she 50? 40? 30?

Today, I’m 21 and there’s a splash of pink in my hair.  Who says I don’t colour my hair?


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