Shawn L. Bird

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

poem-grey June 8, 2020

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 8:20 am
Tags: , , , , ,

The first day

my mother did not see

dawned grey and heavy

with dew.

But still the finch greeted me

with its joy at waking to

the new.

 

poem-wind June 7, 2020

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:58 am
Tags: , , , ,

The crows auk auk their condolences

The finch assures that life goes on.

My mother is now spirit in the breeze,

(or the stiff head-wind,

’cause she was stubborn like that).

 

poem-song June 6, 2020

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:25 am
Tags: , , , ,

It is my mother’s second

dying day.

I awaken, heart heavy,

to the house finch’s

happy song.

An accompanist,

as a spirit dances its

release

into eternity.

 

poem- slow June 5, 2020

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:22 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

How is this day only half over?

Only six hours since I told the doctor

palliation would be her choice,

a life-time is dragging by.

Each minute means more

than those before it.

An infinite embrace

unfolding, a somnolent

soul journeying

forward.

 

poem- fade June 2, 2020

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:48 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Certainty sits in my throat while

rain weeps uneasy farewell

to the ambulance.

She will not fare well.

She is failing, fragile.

Rain washes tenuous existence

down the street in ripples

and rivulets.

It’s all downhill from here.

 

poem- crossing over February 14, 2020

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:34 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

(A cascade poem)
,

I waited for you
wishing for a miracle
on that long night

so long ago, and yet
I live in that moment still;
I waited for you,

holding your hand,
counting your breaths
wishing for a miracle.

Hospital bed,
The click of knitting needles,
on that long night.

.

.

The form of a cascade is to create a free verse first stanza, and then repeat subsequent lines of that first stanza at the ends of the following stanzas, cascading the lines from the first stanza throughout the poem.  This form was created by Udit Bhatia.

.

.

FWIW- we did get the miracle, and four more years.

.

.

.

.

(Ignore the WordPress added ads.)

.

.

.

.

 

poem- baking tomorrow November 22, 2019

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:39 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

She is gone

traditions will be different in her absence

I am a poor substitute.

May our Christmas cookies

and your memories

be sweet.

20191123_161525.jpg

 

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

 

poem-should it be that way? May 10, 2019

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:23 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

It was a suicide.

Two weeks have passed.

“The funeral is today.

Or. Not a funeral.  A celebration of life.”

Matter-of-fact voice.

How many times had intention

shown him this path?

That prescription the only protection

against this road.

“Would you like me to come with you?”

Translation:

Let me watch you in this crowd.

See if I can read your mind.

“No. I’m going to stand. It’ll be crowded.”

Did he know,

so many people would want to be there?

Did he know,

so many people cared?

Or was he counting on them,

covering for him when

he wasn’t there?

Two paths forking off this road,

wives watching the journey,

or buried by it.

 

 

poem- waiting March 8, 2019

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:24 am
Tags: , , , , ,

She hasn’t published the obituary, because

what will she say when they approach her

at the mall with their condolences that will

break her into dripping pieces?  But if she doesn’t

will they ask how her mother is? Will she have

to break the news and shatter them with awkwardness

instead, then answer questions about why, when it was weeks ago?

Is she keeping death a secret,

to ponder in her heart?  Many things are mysteries.

Grief makes some a blanket to hide in.

It makes others a sea to sail on.

She hides at home, and lives the obituary

in silent, private grief.

 

poetry- Patrick Lane- The Beauty March 7, 2019

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:56 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I was sad to hear the news that brilliant and prolific Canadian poet, Patrick Lane passed away this morning, just shy of his 80th birthday.  I was absolutely blessed to have an opportunity to study with Patrick at the Honeymoon Bay Poetry Retreat in 2017.  Such powerful mentorship from a man who had astonishing poetic insight.  What a loss to the Canadian literary community.

Just yesterday after spotting the first robin of the year, I was telling a student about my time at the retreat, lying on the ground trying to hear the worms the robin heard.

When Liz McNalley, organizer of the retreat, sent word this morning, she included this poem of Patrick’s and so I will share it with you, as well.

The Beauty

This too, the beauty

Of the antelope in snow

Is it enough to say we will

Imagine this and nothing more?

Who understands that, failing

Falters at the song.

But still we sing.

That is beauty.

But it is not an answer

Any more than the antelope

Most slender of beasts

Most beautiful

Will tell us why they go

Going nowhere

And going there

Perfectly in the snow.

 

It was a snowy day today.  Rest in Peace, Patrick.  Much love to Lorna Crozier and all those grieving our nation’s loss today.

Patrick Lane

PS. If you don’t already have a copy of The Collected Works of Patrick Lane, I highly recommend it.  It is full of treasures.

.

(Note that I’m an Amazon Affiliate, so if you buy from that link, I earn a bit for the referral)

 

 
%d bloggers like this: