Shawn L. Bird

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

poem- prep July 14, 2018

Beneath a cloudless blue sky

I feel the storm coming,

black clouds gathering.

Could they reflect black shirts?

I ponder,

seriously,

if I should be building false walls

to hide those who will be escaping tyranny.

I wonder,

if I am far enough from a border to avoid

occupation.

A century ago,

they didn’t understand the signs,

but now we do.

Those who read are the first removed

when the evil rises.

Do all those kids who demanded,

“Why do we have to learn this?”

remember that their teachers said,

“So you’ll see the signs.”

“So it will never happen again.”

“Remember, they elected Hitler;

“they heiled and fell for his lies,

“because they wanted to believe their superiority,

“wanted a scapegoat for their troubles.”

There can be no excuses.

Shall I buy bricks or drywall?

Where will I construct false bottoms?

Where will we hide in the resulting rubble,

when the jack boots stomp through?

Another cristelnacht, this time in New York?

The hammock swings its consolation:

It can’t happen here.

It won’t happen here.

How many said those words a century

ago?

How many grew to knowing the meaning

of fear?

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poem- roots December 19, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:35 am
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And what of you?

Do dark mornings creep around your heart

Reaching through night

Pushing past sight to wrap you tightly

In tomorrow?

What of you?

Your lonely walk, your feet tapping

On cobblestones in ancestral towns,

tripping on the roots of the family tree;

calamity or peace?

I see the dream

That’s you.

 

poem-rocky July 11, 2016

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:41 am
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He says she’s not a pebble.

He says she’s more like an interesting rock formation.

Ah, but rock formations were once mountains

as mountains become pebbles

in time.

.

This mountain fills all we can see

I step this way.

You step that way.

Distance grows until we have disappeared from view.

From where we are now, we can each squish

a mountain between our finger and thumb.

 

 

poem- Culloden Moor April 16, 2016

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:17 pm
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I didn’t see your ghosts

feel your spirits in the air

I didn’t understand what

drove folks to leave there;

On Culloden Moor the Scots

were slaughtered and died

Then drove from their lands

in Canada they arrived.

Their hardy characters

explored from sea to sea,

naming off the rivers,

(and my university).

The brutal battle that was fought

upon this day

led to our confederation

and the TransCanada

Highway.

.

.

Most of what I know about the Battle of Culloden I learned from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series.  However, it’s very cool that my husband’s ancestor Dr. John Rattray was Bonnie Prince Charlie’s personal physician in Edinburgh, and was saved from the noose afterwards only by the timely interference of his golf buddy and judge Duncan Forbes.  (John Rattray was Captain of St Andrews and one of the signatories of the official rules of golf in 1744.  Cronyism in golf plainly goes back to the beginning of the sport).

 

poem- pages September 4, 2015

Filed under: poem — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:34 pm
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Beneath the dusty cover,

these pages are a brown tinged

crinkly time machine.

 

poem-then love April 29, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 8:24 am
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I told you

I’d love you forever

You told me you loved me

and we’d be friends forever.

I meant every deluded nuance.

You figured optimism works out

but you also said you couldn’t answer

to what would happen if I snuck into your room

and you woke to my face hovering above you.

That intriguing notion made me giggle at the joke.

But you kept your door locked, just in case.

Did you hear the door knob rattle?

Then the plane took off,

without me hiding in your luggage

as you’d suggested I could.

Our next phone call clarified

the kindness of lies.

and the length reality stretches

to cling to an illusion.

I’ve been grateful for

the elasticity of spurious delusion

every day of my life.

I craft my reality in my imagination:

You are whoever I make you to be.

Do I cover you with armour?

Compel piano mastery?

Some loves last through time:

mythical love need not be mocked.

What you hear, is never what truly was.

It’s what was crafted to tell the tale that needed to be told.

You are a character in the love story,

and I can always kill you off in

literary impunity.

.

Shape poem of a chess piece.  Clear?  Metaphor of the game.  Get it?

 

poem- former lovers October 20, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:05 am
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They speak of gifts

from former lovers:

vases

or black eyes,

rings

or babies.

They carry

former intimacies:

horrors and tragedies

traumas and ecstasies.

I have no

former lover,

I  carry only

years with you;

no horrors mar our history,

just monogamous longevity–

our effort at ontogeny.

.

.

(Definition of ontogeny here) 😉

 

 
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