Shawn L. Bird

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

writing-conference power February 19, 2019

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 8:49 pm
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I’m a huge advocate of the writing conference as a crucial key to a writer’s development.  For many years, I thought they were silly and over-priced.  I figured I could learn anything I needed to know by reading books about the writing craft and business.

What I didn’t understand was the importance of connection.  Writers tend to be solitary creatures. Their creativity happens when they’re alone.  Often our friends and family members don’t understand the stress of having to kill off a character we love, or the trauma of maintaining our words per day quota, or the soul-destroying nature of the twelfth (or hundred and twelfth) rejection letter for a project we adore.

Other writers do.

When you sit in a room with other writers, hear their stories, and realize they have the same kind of feelings and experiences you do, you realize you aren’t the only one. You’re not weird! (Well, maybe you are, but it’s probably a good weird, and you realize there are a lot of weirder people and you thoroughly enjoy being in their weird company!).  You feel like you belong.  You listen, you learn, you laugh, and you long for it to last.

Next March I am going to a new conference for me: Creative Ink in Burnaby, BC.  I see that some of my friends from other conferences (Surrey International, When Words Collide in Calgary, Word on the Lake in Salmon Arm) will be there. How great!

If you’re in BC and you’ve never been to a conference, this one is a good price ($80 for the weekend) and has some phenomenal people presenting and attending, so I already know it’s going to be great.  Learn about the craft and business of the writing life.  Share some weird.  Enjoy some fun.  Buy some books.

If you decide to go, tell them I sent you!

Creative Ink is at the Delta Marriott Burnaby, BC  March 29-31, 2019.

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poem-narrow March 27, 2018

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:51 pm
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Read and understand,

my children.

The world is not as narrow

as your mind.

If you live a life,

mired in the same mud,

you will never know the

glories of a mountain peak,

power of ocean depths.

Read and understand,

my children.

What you have seen

is not all there is.

What you have felt

is not all there is to feel.

See and understand,

my children.

There is more.

So much more.

Than what you know.

Open your eyes,

to the world

my children.

See and understand.

 

 

poem-interpretation February 6, 2018

The Lord of All Knowledge,

Gatekeeper of Truth,

says the poem means this.

Generations of readers bow

before this wisdom,

even though they don’t see it,

can’t believe it,

they just accept it.

When the poet reads

the critic’s piece,

she laughs and laughs

at the irony of such arrogant

assumptions!

Oh, student!

Good reader!

There are no errors

of interpretation in poetry!

Your experiences show you a meaning,

and if you can find lines to support,

your responses are just as valid as any critic’s.

(So the famous poet said to me,

and he should know).

 

Poem-Egger Pantoum December 9, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:10 pm
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In our school, the chef’s training kids make ‘eggers’ in the morning.  These are buns with fried egg, cheese, and a sausage patty.  They are a popular fast-food breakfast fare, but I hate them.  Fried eggs are nauseating to me, runny yolks make me want to vomit, the smell makes me nauseous.  So, to avoid calamity, I do not allow them in my class room. Kids have to eat them outside the room. There are huge windows between room and hall, so the class can watch the egger eater outside, like a sad puppy at the glass, waiting to come in.  

Today we learned about pantoum poems, and before they wrote their own, I guided a class written one.  This was what A block English 11 came up with, as one student was barred and then didn’t realise the door was unlocked, so he could just walk back in when he was done eating his egger.  There was lots of laughter, as we wrote it!  🙂  I love Poetry Fridays!

Egger Pantoum (A block’s)

I wanted into English class.

I wasn’t allowed in.

They laughed at me, en masse.

Eating eggers is a sin

 

I wasn’t allowed in;

I walked away.

Eating eggers is a sin.

What a great start to the day.

 

I walked away.

I wandered through the halls.

What a great start to the day,

Trapped within these walls.

 

I wandered through the halls.

I’m chewing very slowly

Trapped within these walls

Eating eggers, I’m unholy

 

I’m chewing very slowly;

Tears are streaming down my cheeks.

Eating eggers, I’m unholy,

The door won’t open for a week.

 

Tears are streaming down my cheeks.

They laughed at me, en masse!

The door won’t open for a week.

I wanted into English class!

 

poem-trying September 10, 2017

That light in your eye

gives me hope.  The glint of

possibility twinkles there.

I am excited by the symphony

you’re embracing as you

attempt novelty.

 

poem- I want to know June 6, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:22 pm
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What I want to know

is what the magical ingredient is.

What’s that essential something

that makes this kid go “WOW!”?

Not just this kid, but that kid, too.

You know how some will not be moved,

never seem to find their groove?

I want the magical ingredient for them all,

so when they’re pushed from their nests

they don’t fall, they aim for the skies with eyes

open to opportunity, head full of curiosity.

Every time I think I know the secret

I see another one sneaking by,

not willing to try or

afraid

to try?

What’s broken their curiosity?

Taught them to close out possibility?

It hurts me.

I want to know if that kid

is going to move to his groove later.

Will he save his curiosity to ride a wave

at twenty instead?

I want to see it now,

but late is better than never.

I hope when it happens,

I’ll know.

 

 

 

poem-surprises May 4, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 4:12 pm
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It still surprises me

To uncover these weaknesses

You try to so hard to cover

With bombast and bomb blasts.

Acting out to hide insecurity

Inability

And the itching awareness that

You don’t measure up.

Your brain doesn’t quite hold onto

the words

the meanings

The feelings fill you up

Fear

Frustration

Anger.

Why?

WHY!

Just because

is not enough answer.

Why?

Chemistry.

Biology.

Nature?  Nurture?

Better just say

“Because”

You didn’t win the lottery

And everything will be harder.

You’re pushing at the pull door.

But if you quit pushing against it

embrace your responsibility

For your own life,

Take it

I know it will go

Far more smoothly

For you.

You are so much stronger

than you believe

you are.

We just have to pull together.

 

 
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