Shawn L. Bird

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

poem- Worshipping anger April 15, 2019

Your pain bursts out the barrel of a gun

punches holes through community

explodes small town security.

Neutrality’s a liar.

And in world news:

Notre-Dame Cathedral is on fire.

.

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My own photo, detail around the main entrance of Notre-Dame. Paris, 2011.

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My own photo. Notre-Dame tower details. Paris. 2010

 

A poem should stand on its own merits, but I feel like a bit of clarification this time.  There was a shooting in my small, Canadian town yesterday.  Two people were shot in their church; one died. Our community has been reeling from this shock, and now another tragedy.  The loss of life. The loss of a building.  Can you compare the two?

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poem-drowning July 15, 2014

Filed under: OUTLANDERishness,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 8:21 pm
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Word came

that the ship was lost:

No survivors.

Her beloved

perished amid a storm

In her dreams

she sees him

swimming

swimming

swimming

swimming

swimming

swimming

swimming

sinking

sinking

sinking

drifting

drifting

drifting

on her

tears.

.

.

.

.

.

.

I suppose this could be about Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon, but in fact, it came from listening to The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman.  It also reminds me of a family story.

My grandfather was a ship captain on the St. Lawrence Seaway.  One day, a knock came on the door, and my grandmother was told gravely that his ship had sunk, and he was lost.  This would no doubt have been far more traumatic, had grandpa not been sitting in the living room at the time. 

 

poem-great at eight (For Rachael) August 17, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 4:10 pm
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You’re eight

and in your mind you’re great

Your dreams are there within your grasp

You clasp them tight and know

that as you grow

You’ll meet each goal

Your soul desires

Until someone you admire says, “No!

You don’t have talent,

you can not do

what your dreams are telling you.”

If you believe these sorry words

If you accept this worry heard

If you allow your dreams to die

if you sigh, and don’t ask why

then I suppose you wield the sword

that kills your dreams.

The naysayers set it in your hand

but they can’t swing it.

So throw down the sword,

hold tight to dreams that stir you in the night!

Those dreams that feel so right,

that make you mighty, those dreams

to sing, to act, to write!

Practise each day, to hone your craft

in every way, no matter what the naysayers say!

Opportunity looks like hard work.

Luck is believing you are lucky.

Practice makes perfect.

You will move past eight, and if not yet great,

Just wait!

.

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This poem grew out of a Twitter conversation.  Diana Gabaldon said that she knew when she was 8 that she should be a novelist (she went on to earn a Masters in marine biology and a PhD in ecology before she got around to trying, though).  I was 8 when I started writing stories, sharing them in school, and dreaming of being a writer. Rachael Hofford said that when she was 8 she was told by her teacher that she had no talent for writing and that she should give up that idea.  As an English teacher, I know first hand that some of my students who dream of writing aren’t very good, but the only way for them to get better is to read and to write.  Practicing their writing by emulating the best that they read  will teach them the skills to become good writers.  Maybe they lack a spark of genius, but it may come later with life experience.  If it doesn’t, there are still many writers who do well telling a story.  Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.  You may have to work very hard, and you’ll need some luck as well, but your dream is just as possible as anyone else’s.

 

 
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