Shawn L. Bird

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

poem-overturning June 11, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:29 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

This time it is
exactly what I want to see.
This time it is
My priorities, not his.
Whatever I want life to be,
my choices and philosophy,
This time it is.

Another rondelet. The speaker of this poem has a bit of a declaration here! 🙂 I have met quite a few women over the years who’ve fought to overturn programming and embrace their independence.


poem-shouting late October 27, 2018

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:20 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

She’s eighty-nine

and now she tells the story of rape,

of giving up a panopoly of dreams

for the baby boy.

(Shot gun wedding)

Love and happiness can’t be forced,

like sex.

Society forced her silence,

condemned divorce,

when she refused abuse,

and sought in the ashes of her dreams

for a phoenix.

Bitter choices,

dream fragments,

cobbled into a life,

grumbled about now.

Dream stealing beast,

a boy who wouldn’t hear no,

seven decades of curses

don’t erase the bitterness

of loss.



(true story)





poem-what has changed September 29, 2018

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:25 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Since “me, too!” has spread,

What has changed

is that I see you differently.

I see me differently.

I hear, “She does that stuff; I’m working”

and I’m filled with fury at yet another man

who does not see what work is,

how everything he is able to do

is because his wife carries him on her back.

and I say, enough.

If we are going to be beasts of burden,

let us be more than mules with bits in our mouths.

Let us be more.

Let us be the partner who is heard.

Let the children be his concern as often as they’re ours.

Let the pink jobs and blue jobs become purple jobs

as they swirl in a kaleidoscope of

our jobs.

Our mutual obligations.

I’m glad you do the laundry and clean the kitchen,

because I hate those jobs.

Thank you for agreeing that poetry

and winding words are more important than dusting.

When your words reflect a patriarchy, I will remind you

who I am.

When my words cut, you may wrap your arms around me

and remind me that you have feelings, too.

Let’s stand as role models that being a man does not give

you rights over anyone else,

anyone else,


Listen men, to what she says.

Keep your hands to yourself

(and other pokey bits, too).

If she says no,

Channel your unwanted urges

into art.  Wash them away in

cold showers of reality.

Let your futile frustration seethe

like generations of women seethed.

What has changed, boys?

The very air you breathe.



poem- belittled January 10, 2018

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:11 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Short temper erupts

Tiny trouble surrounds

Small smiles: faked.

Insidious misogeny ignored

We knew.

#MeToo told us nothing new.

Those men want us to

Be little.

But something’s brewing.

It’s going to be big.




sharing July 24, 2017

Filed under: Commentary,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 7:08 pm
Tags: , , ,

Being A Girl: A Brief Personal History of Violence

I wonder how many women do not have these stories in their lives?  I suspect there are few if any.  We acknowledge these stories, but so rarely bother to stand up to them, because they are ubiquitous.  I am glad to see the light being shone on them and the label being attached.  Yes, these are assaults.  Yes, this is violence.  This is why some cultures are so protective of girls, but why, why, why can’t the blame be put entirely where it belongs- on the perpetrators of this violence?

Perhaps because that requires us to look at our own dark natures?

I was recently reading an article that talked about the passive label like “Violence against women” as if there is no agent acting.  Where does that violence come from?  Not the ether.  Let’s label the agents, not the objects of the action.



Confessions July 7, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:05 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I am at a poetry retreat, and I have just realized I haven’t posted any new poetry in ages!  Here is one that was prompted by discussion around the table last night.


Men are afraid that women will laugh at them.

Women are afraid that men will kill them

~ Margaret Atwood



she is laughing

at his wizened, flapping sword

Ever appreciative

it is not slashing, slicing, dividing

head from heart.


Impalement is not a virtue in itself

ecstacy can take or leave it.


She desires his desire,

not his possession.


%d bloggers like this: