Shawn L. Bird

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

poem- waiting March 8, 2019

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

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poetry- Patrick Lane- The Beauty March 7, 2019

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

 

poem- flash December 31, 2018

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:11 am
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Just like that

you were back.

A flash.

Years had disappeared.

Your hair glistened in the light of the theatre,

our laughter and the crunch of popcorn on the air.

A flash.

Grief seeped through me,

sucking me back to the day they said

you were gone.

.

.

RIP Lloyd. 1964-1997 No one is truly dead until they are not remembered any more.

 

poem- laughing eyes April 30, 2018

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:17 pm
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A poem for Cheryl: 1964-2018

.

In every photo

you’re focused on those you love:

eyes gleaming,

radiating joy.

You wrap your arms around

grinning little girls,

smother them in kisses,

tackle them with tenderness.

Mother, mother, mother

in every fibre.

And now the children are bereft,

and your laughing eyes

have left the world.

We will look for your smile

in children who will never know you,

and see your laughter through your daughters’ eyes

as they embrace their babies.

 

poem-middle February 12, 2018

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:37 pm
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You were middle aged

when we were twenty-seven,

but we didn’t know.

I feel like I am just beginning,

but you have ended.

I can not get my head around

this unexpected cutting

of a thread that should still be winding

through our tapestry.

 

poem- watcher April 18, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:17 am
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I pass the old man

on his balcony.

Huge sunglasses

through which he watches

like a

diurnal owl;

the world unfolds below him.

 

Just like my dad liked to sit.

I don’t wipe away

my tear.

 

poem-toothpaste love March 6, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:22 am
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This was your toothpaste.

The tube still holds the contours of your fist

the last squeeze you gave it.

I wrap my hand around

imagine your grip,

the skin on your hand like satin tissue

squeezing paste to scrub your teeth.

It is a long time before I can remove the lid

and squeeze the paste onto my own brush.

Remembering your hand

holding mine.

 

 
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