Shawn L. Bird

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

poem-censored October 7, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:36 pm
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My daughter

prefaces every story with,

“You can’t put this

on your blog.”



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


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.



like you April 26, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:20 pm
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I wrote letters to poets

Sandburg, Dickinson, Twain,

Shelley, Petrarca, Yeats or Keats,

it was always the same.

“Thank you for your words.

“I like what you  say.

“Your message was heard.”

Each time someone’d said

“You can’t send a note

for those poets are dead;

it’s been years since they wrote!”


On the blog roll are poets

who live and who breathe

and I can write them notes

and some encouragement leave.

“I like that you’re writing

“I like that you’re here

“I like that you’re sighting

on truths without fear.

“Thank you for your words.

“I like what you  say.

“Your message was heard;

I’ll be back here one day!”


poetry or prose? April 2, 2013

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:38 am
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So what’s your preference?

The last few weeks I’ve had a focus on poetry on the blog, as a bit of an experiment.

Now that it’s National Poetry Month, in my typical contrary fashion, I will be switching to prose.

This is because I am participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this month.  Instead of the punishing 50,000 word goal of November’s event, Camp allows us to pick our own goals, and I’m going for 25k, which should be much more easily accomplished.  I will count blogs, articles, and fiction in one jumble of word count, and separate them out later.

My question is, what do you like to read here?  Do you prefer poetic ramblings, or commentary?  Do you like fiction samples or pings of other people’s amazing work?

I’m eclectic, but in the blog world, niches are good.  It’s easy for your audience if you’re consistent in your offerings.  It’s hard for me, because niches bore me.

Help me decide my direction and give me your opinon.  What is your favourite thing on


voices in the wilderness May 9, 2011

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:42 pm
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During the Canadian election, I was approached by a representative of CanWest to submit blogs for their Election Issues coverage on  Two of my blogs were submitted, and both were selected.  I considered it a serious honour to be invited to participate and to lend my words to those of other Canadians discussing issues on their minds.  Since my blog address was published, presumeably exposure in this national forum would increase blog traffic and I would be able to enjoy the prestige of having my words in such a professional milieu. is a May 2 reprint of is a April 25 reprint of

Having permitted them to reprint my words, I was surprised to notice at the bottom of my reprinted piece (c) Postmedia News.  Huh?   Nowhere in our correspondence did they ask for nor did I give them copyright.  I gave them reprint permission.  Interesting, isn’t it?  If some text book or magazine wants to reprint it, will they be paying Postmedia News or will they be coming to me, the author and legitimate copyright holder of the work?  What would it cost me to fight it? 

There is an issue among professional writers with respect to news agencies using nonprofessional, unpaid writers who work for the glory of seeing their byline.  It’s pretty cool, but an unpaid byline doesn’t put bread on the table of anyone’s family, except perhaps the publisher who’s enjoying the free labour.  On the other hand, how does one earn a professional reputation except through giving some words away?  It’s a bit of a tightrope, to be sure.

According to the  site stats, although there was a bit of a spike on April 26 and 27th, there was no increase in traffic after the May 2 article was posted on which suggests that the exposure didn’t generate the potential blog traffic. None the less, it was entertaining reading the comments from readers who would not normally have been exposed to my blog, and it was a thrill to see my words in a national forum.  Perhaps there will be some name recognition in the future.   I’m not really counting on it, though.  We Canadian artistes know that with too much free  exposure you can freeze to death, after all.


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