Shawn L. Bird

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

poem- poem vs ink December 8, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:50 am
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A poem, found in the comments of NUDGE. By Shawn and Chris

.

Your mind, has to be much better.

You ‘re not getting shock treatment too?

Are you?

Not electro-shock, at least

They’re trying to make me look crazy.

Every time i go to the hospital

Strapped to a bed…

You may be fine, but

perhaps the drugs are crazy?

Drugs are how i am…

Where does one end and the other begin?

Is a place ahead

separate from that identity?

desired?

willed?

(Is this a poem?)

No,

drugs are part of the poem

Life is the poem;

drugs are just your ink.

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poem- obliviously December 14, 2016

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:38 am
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Max and Jenn were in our grade eight classes

and our grade nine classes,

but then, they were not.

Where are they? asked the teachers.

Whispers replied to one another in the back rows,

I saw them outside The Royal Anne.

They’re turning tricks.  Doing drugs.

We blinked at one another that our peers

would make such choices,

muttered, How terrible.

We slowed down our lives to peer into the

accident scene of their lives

from a safe distance,

but did any of us go downtown,

and offer them a different option?

.

.

.

This is a forty-year old memory.  Where are they now, I wonder?

 

poem- imagination trumps reality April 26, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:19 pm
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“How can you write

about being drunk

if you’ve never been drunk?”

the boys ask, grinning.

I shrug, and hand them some papers.

“You tell me.  Did I do it?”

They read,  groan, gasp and sigh.

“I didn’t see that coming,” one mutters.

Finally they look up at me with muted faces.

“Well?” I ask

“Oh, yeah,” one grunts.  “You did.”

The others nod and grunt in agreement.

“But how?” asks another shaking his head.

“I could imagine what it’s like to be drunk,

and so I never needed to drink.

I could have fun without needing to dull my senses

or find artificial courage.

I don’t drink.  I’ve never done drugs.

I don’t need to, because

I have imagination.”

“Huh,” they say,

and class begins.

.

.

.

I know that my experience is not at all common.  My parents were social drinkers, but I never saw either of them intoxicated.  I didn’t like the taste of alcohol, and felt no need to drink to be cool.  If I went to a party, I was disgusted how the drinkers all turned into idiots.

My high school friends didn’t drink. We went out together, had a great time, and the next morning we remembered what happened and we didn’t have a headache!  We had a remarkable amount of common sense! 😉

I have addicted relatives.  They are also a good lesson of how lives can be destroyed.

I am routinely astonished by students who have never met *anyone* who doesn’t drink.  They think all adults drink.  Many of the adults in their lives only socialize in an inebriated stupor and they don’t know there is another way to interact with people. I have never tried marijuana or other recreational drugs either.  I don’t need to medicate my emotions or do weird things.  I need all the energy I have, so I can’t afford to send my motivations up in smoke!   I can’t imagine just taking some pill off someone at a party.  That’s not fun, that’s just stupid (and dangerous).

I don’t presume to tell anyone else what to do, and I actually support legalization, to remove the criminal component. I consider it a health issue.

One thing about my clean life style- it frees up room in the budget for my Fluevogs! 🙂

PS. I’ve linked to the snippet that they read.

 

interviews & changing times September 27, 2012

Filed under: Pondering — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:41 am
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Today a group of my students were interviewed for an upcoming documentary about living in a small town.  It was interesting to hear their feedback after the experience.  They wondered if the interviewer was trying too hard to ‘connect with the youth of today’ by “dropping f-bombs in every sentence” and telling them that she and her friends had taken acid in the 90s.  They weren’t impressed.

In the staff room the other day, we were commenting about the kids in the smoke pit.  At our school, it is an area about eight feet square, marked by cement barricades a couple of feet high off to the side of our entry, just outside of the parking lot (and therefore, presumably not technically ‘on school grounds’).  There are maybe a dozen kids who hang out there off and on over the course of the day, though I’ve never seen more than six at any one time.  There are around five hundred students at our school.  The teachers were discussing how ‘once upon a time’ the smoke pit was packed, and it was full of cool kids.  Now, the kids in the smoke pit are the losers, generally looked at with disdain by the other kids.

I can remember teaching in Prince George, where probably a hundred kids stood in minus twenty, being cool, and smoking.  Once, they watched a moose wander past, and then get shot by conservation officers.  The smoking area was always lively and crowded, murdered moose, not withstanding.

Not these days.  It seems that kids are getting the message about healthy living.  They smoke less than their parents and grand-parents.   Since according to experts in the workshops attended by my ex-social worker spouse, the real ‘gateway drug’ is tobacco, does this decrease of activity at the smoke pit mean kids are less likely to graduate to harder drugs, and therefore less likely to find themselves popping acid by the train tracks like the interviewer, who’d attended this school a decade ago?

I don’t know, but I hope so.  I’m really happy they weren’t impressed by her stories and foul language.  Whoever says youth are getting worse isn’t keeping their eyes open.  Personally, I like what I see.

 

 
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