Shawn L. Bird

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

poem-traditionalists December 18, 2020

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:19 pm
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Someone has to care enough

to do the grunt work.

Haul up the tree

Heave. Grunt.

Whip up the shortbread.

Beat. Grunt.

Dig out the toboggans, drive to the hill.

Wheeee! Grunt.

Cook the turkey. Shop. Wrap the presents.

Grunt

Grunt

Grunt.

Some years the off-stage magicians are silent,

but this year you can hear us

grunt.

 

Poem- choking December 1, 2020

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 7:12 am
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Tonight amid the Christmas decorations

grief is hanging on our tree;

loss pummels

hopefulness.

Sadness hollows out my chest,

crushes my shoulders,

lodges in my throat.

Longing overwhelms.

There is no comfort

here, only more memories

of what is gone

who is gone

when is gone

where is gone.

Tonight is too much to bear,

so I’ll climb into bed and

trust tomorrow brings

solace and that much lauded

peace of the season.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

 

poem- we turned on the Christmas lights November 22, 2020

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:19 pm
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The dog stares mesmerized

past the old bulbs wrapped around the blue spruce, those steady, dependable glass bulbs that have illuminated twenty Christmases,

to the lilac bushes where the new micro-bulbs change from white to colour, fade, flash, flicker, urge us to celebrate with their “Party on!” dance,

but this year, putting them out

used all the energy we have,

and there’s no irony in the number of blue bulb strings wrapped and draped around the door.

 

poem-boxes January 9, 2018

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:20 pm
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Boxed up

memories, wrapped carefully

in torn tissue paper,

worn over years.

Boxed up

histories, revisited annually-

unwrapping melancholy,

tying it on a tree.

 

poem-Mother’s Day humility May 14, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:44 pm
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Looking forward to seeing you this weekend!

the mother wrote.

The greeting card holidays remind children

of filial duties.

Without them, would they ever call?

Text message comes mid-day:

Happy Mother’s Day.

An opening!

Mother replies,

When will we see you?

No response.

Cat’s in the Cradle.

.

Sacrifice.  Care.   Tuition bills.  Sick beds.   Pain.

And here,

A lesson in humility.

It’s strange how

Happy Mother’s Day

can feel a lot like

F-you.

A greeting card sentiment,

leaves a slashing wound,

sliced by a weapon wielded in a war

she didn’t know had been declared.

There had been no need to

clean the vase,

dress up for the surprise

brunch,

lunch,

dinner,

visit?

or even stay home to hang around the phone

so as not to disappoint

the kids

who call to wish

Happy Mothers’ Day.

.

.

.

(I’ve got a short story in my brain, but we’ll start with this.)

 

poem- traditions December 24, 2016

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:55 pm
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Far from home,

surrounded by brown desert,

in a hotel room, alone,

a podcast plays the annual

Christmas Eve story

and the holiday arrives

despite the lack of snow,

gifts,

cookies,

tree,

or children.

.

.

.

CBC plays this beautiful Forsyth short story every year, and I always have a little tear over it.  The late Alan Maitland was a wonderful reader.  http://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-the-shepherd-edition-2016-1.3907204

 

poem-absent December 21, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 4:35 pm
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I hear your voice I see your smile

I’m glad you’re here to sit a while,

but when I turn around I see

that you are only memory.

So Christmas has come and you are gone

and day by day life still goes on;

though you are free from earthy pain,

Your absence grieves my heart again.

 

 

 

poem-fakery December 19, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:31 pm
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We’ve decorated the artificial tree

The fire crackles on the TV

Holiday cards show everyone happy

People gather smiling gleefully

to celebrate festivities

and it all feels like fakery.

.

If this is meant to be

a season all about peace,

then let me sit here quietly

alone but for fictional company

the only sound, fire crackling,

and I will celebrate contentedly,

avoiding family and all their expectation of responsibility.

.

.

I am an extrovert and I generally love being out with people, but when I’m under a lot of stress, all I want to do is sit in heated comfort by myself, and spend time in the company of book friends.  All the obligatory holiday hoopla just makes me grumpy and anti-social, particularly with my dad passing away this summer and my mother suffering a serious stroke a couple of weeks ago.  

 

 

poem-surly December 26, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:24 pm
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This morning unfurling itself

I have awoken surly.

The low clouds match my mood

The sky is surly, too.

.

Inside the house,

the Christmas mess mocks

in its surly aftermath.

.

The snow plow

dragging itself through the city

scrapes with surly determination.

.

My surly swirl of grumpiness

has me in good company,

it seems.

 

poem- Christmas Eve December 24, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 4:33 pm
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The

house

is empty

except for memories

It’s really too much effort

setting up that Christmas tree.

The young folks all use email

so there weren’t many cards received

The avenue is packed with snow

that’s falling unrelieved

They won’t risk driving anywhere

on that they are agreed.

Celebrations are in the past

as memories are retrieved

That’s the magic of the season,

and the truth of

Christmas Eve.

.

.

.

Merry Christmas to those who are alone, working, or happily avoiding celebrations.

PS. The shape was supposed to be a Christmas tree, but I’m thinking it looks more like an elf silhouette.  What’s your take?

 

 
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