Shawn L. Bird

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

poem-thou dost protest too much November 1, 2018

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:13 pm
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Each act ahead comes

from what’s behind.

We are all walking wounded

trailing bandages

that tangle us,

tie us,

trip us

into our future.

Wear a blind fold:

we cannot look into a mirror to see the pain

etched across our faces.

See the bandages?

Trip over them

leaving the bar.

Scream yourself hoarse,

stamp your feet.

Shout “I’m fine, fine, FINE!” *

Ah. Methinks,

The lady doth protest too much.*



(*Allusions: In Louise Penny’s wonderful Inspector Gamache books, Ruth Zardo has written a book of poetry where FINE is an acroynym for F*cked up, Insecure, Neurotic, Egotistical. I’d say that applies here, too. “Methinks the lady doth protest too much” is from the play within a play in Shakespeare’s Hamlet).


poem-bully the victim March 19, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:50 pm
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Everyone thinks they’ve been bullied.

Everyone has had someone say something mean

been called a rude name

felt misunderstood

felt completely unseen

felt left out of the game.

Growing up means learning that not everyone thinks you’re great.

Growing up means knowing you’ll get called out when you’re weird.

Social correction.

Don’t be so intense, trying to fit everyone inside your fence

If they’re just being nice, don’t make them want to slice

their wrists rather than interact with you

Social rejection

is a natural reaction to those things you do.

Social conversation

starts out small, don’t demand their all

Everyone has met the kid that’s on the bullhorn

the irritating thorn who blames everyone for the scorn

he invites himself.  If you want deep contact

don’t start combat if interaction contracts.

If you want a friend

Be a friend.

The end.



A few years ago, I was overheard a conversation between a Special Education teacher and a new student on the autism spectrum who was visiting the high school in preparation for attending the following year.  She explained to him that in high school, if he was doing something inappropriate as a grade 8 student with poor social skills, a grade 12 would call him on it, and that wasn’t bullying, that was social correction.  It was probably the most effective way for him to realize his own responsibility for the irritations of others; social correction was an enlightening concept for him.   There’s a line here.  Some behaviour is not appropriate!  It’s important that bullies receive just as much social correction as ‘victims’ do.  “We don’t treat each other like that” goes both ways.   To other students, the student in question was a bully, in the way he monopolized the class room with irrelevant questions or self-indulgent narratives.  He impacted them negatively, and they retained the right to tell him he needed to be quiet.  He responded better to students than teachers giving the same message.  What do you think?  Is there such a thing as ‘social correction’ or is any negative feedback just a form of ‘bullying?’


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