Shawn L. Bird

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

poem-they’re trying to kill you? April 4, 2020

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:36 pm
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Last week reports of your smiles and charm,

surprised us.  Did they have the right patient?


I am fast asleep when the phone rings this morning.

You’re shrieking at me.

I know you’re angry and afraid,

but I can’t deal with you

and a pandemic, too.


poem- crossing over February 14, 2020

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:34 am
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(A cascade poem)

I waited for you
wishing for a miracle
on that long night

so long ago, and yet
I live in that moment still;
I waited for you,

holding your hand,
counting your breaths
wishing for a miracle.

Hospital bed,
The click of knitting needles,
on that long night.



The form of a cascade is to create a free verse first stanza, and then repeat subsequent lines of that first stanza at the ends of the following stanzas, cascading the lines from the first stanza throughout the poem.  This form was created by Udit Bhatia.



FWIW- we did get the miracle, and four more years.





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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?



(Is this a poem?)


drugs are part of the poem

Life is the poem;

drugs are just your ink.


poem-ready January 23, 2016

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:55 pm
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You’re ready to go,

bouncing on that bed,

tired of physio, doctors, bad food,

and a four bed room.

You want the quiet privacy of home

and worked hard to earn it.

You’re ready.


poem- bird song June 16, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:55 pm
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From your hospital bed

you stare out the window

at the empty bird feeder

unaware that the chirping you hear

comes from your satellite radio.


one person’s attitude December 17, 2011

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 7:20 pm
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My dad is in the hospital this week. I watched with dismay how one harried and dismissive LPN managed to set an entire room in disarray. My father– weak, blind and quite deaf–was in quite a state, knowing something was going on, but helpless to deal with it, and not clear about what it was. I caught enough talk between patients and staff while I was there to know he hadn’t imagined things.

One person’s skill set makes all the difference. One person who is knowledgeable, pleasant, courteous, and respectful of the patients can improve the environment. A person who is sharp, unwilling to listen, dismissive of concerns or desires, causes more trouble, and more problems erupt.

As my father tried to explain what he had experienced, and I tried to offer (what I thought were) logical interpretations, he shook his head and remarked, “This is what makes people think they’re going crazy.” He was right. He didn’t have the picture completely right, but he had enough of it to set off alarm bells. I wonder how often this happens in extended care facilities? The elderly patients may frantically try to explain what they’ve experienced, and because their hearing or visual impairments make some of their observations unclear, and their interpretations may seem a little whacky, and their slurred speech requires some concentration to attend to their meaning, do people think the elderly person is hallucinating?

It is a valuable lesson on how one person’s incompetencies can negatively impact others. Attempting to mask incompetencies just leads to more problems, like ripples spreading in a pond. Listen. Find the problem. Attend.


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