Shawn L. Bird

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

playgrounds and graveyards May 31, 2021

The elders told you.
Trembling voices.
Feathers clutched for courage.
They told you of their sisters, brothers, and cousins
who did not come home.
Those who crept out at night and
walked through wilderness to return home.
Those who got sick and died.
Those who were beaten.
Those who were broken.
Those who were battered.
So many buried.
The elders told you how truth had been buried, too.


So many lost children.
Now 215 have been found.
Their bones are proof to the elders’ words.
Who is surprised?
Children buried in unmarked graves.
See what is also buried there:
Denial. Shame.
Voices rise in sorrow.
Now what will be done
to bring peace to the children who survived?
Grown with a burden of brokeness. Grief swallowed.
How will the elders’ trauma be relieved?

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This poem references the discovery of the mass grave of 215 children on the grounds of the Kamloops Residential School. Read an article about it here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/tk-eml%C3%BAps-te-secw%C3%A9pemc-215-children-former-kamloops-indian-residential-school-1.6043778

 

poem-outside April 29, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:53 am
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(Napowrimo day 29 is about describing a scene out a window, but this morning I was standing in a doorway observing, so I’ll use that moment).

This morning outside my door,

cacophony of small birds

catcalling to the universe:

Oooh baby! Look at me!

Our place! Get away!

Twittering spring tumult

screeches and titters.

The world persists,

though you have ceased.

 

poem-lilo April 28, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:57 pm
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Our friendship can lie low

for months and years

Wading through the morass of obligations

from family and job.

Fallow fields tended on Facebook

with a like or a care emoji.

Does anyone else write letters any more?

I miss live laughter,

the belly aching kind,

making new memories.

I miss voices harmonizing until the cells

reverberate into joy.

Time doesn’t lie between us

it surrounds us

paints its creases on our skin

but within, this friendship

hasn’t aged a day.

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Napowrimo Day 28. This actually links to the prompt from yesterday which was to explore ‘an obscure sorrow’. Yesterday, my sorrow was too overt for obscurity. Lilo is an interesting concept. I have so many friends whom I only see once a year at certain writing conferences, or others that I may go years between seeing. My friends and adopted families in Finland, I don’t see for decades, but I think of them often, and when I see them, it is like we slot back into each other’s lives like no time has passed. As if I could be the neighbour next door. Some days, I wish I were. It is hard when real life means you can’t be with the people who fill your heart. I must say, I definitely appreciate how Facebook has made it easier to touch into those distance friends far more easily.

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poem- are you singing now? April 27, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:38 pm
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in the end

you had to sing the hymns in your head

fill your mind with the music

that could not escape

in the end

she held your hand

entwined your fingers

listened to your last breath

in the end

angels embraced you

brought you into their choirloft

and left us all bereft,

at your beginning.

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NaPoWriMo Day 27.
A bit of an elegy. This April has been full of poems of grieving. *Another* dear one died yesterday. (5 precious souls lost to us in 10 mos, 3 in April alone!) His glorious voice is now raised with the angels, but oh how we will miss it here on Earth. RIP Randy
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poem-carvings April 26, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:45 am
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Outside my window: blue sky, new green.

Promise and potential

A future of fecundity.

Inside my heart: fog, ice

You are gone

The planet is too joyful

for such a day.

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NaPoWriMo Day 26.
The prompt today was for a humorous parody, but as I received the news of the death of another dear person in my life this weekend, humour is not on my mind. 4 great losses in 10 months. What a wearisome year this has been.
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Ignore any ads following

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poem-Counting Crows April 8, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 8:00 am
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Saturday
seven crows: silent
vigil. We
come, one by
one, say sorrowful farewells.
On Sunday: eight crows.

One crow mourns with us
as a lifetime leaves her house
in boxes.
Memories
lost, unless known to
eleven crows.

An allusion, of course, to the traditional rhyme:
Counting Crows
One for sadness, two for mirth;
Three for marriage, four for birth;
Five for laughing, six for crying:
Seven for sickness, eight for dying;
Nine for silver, ten for gold;
Eleven a secret that will never be told.


For NaPoWriMo day 8, this poem is a 6 line shadorma, with a reverse shadorma in the second stanza. The syllable count is 3/5/3/3/7/5. The shadorma was introduced with the fib form yesterday, but I wanted to play with both.

 

poem-spring? March 28, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:15 pm
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Geese call
mournful fly past.
The year is reborn
Why does my heart
hear autumn’s sorrow?

 

poem- He’s sitting there beside her March 9, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 8:59 am
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I sit down across from them

meet his melancholy eyes,

give him a sad smile, whisper

“I’m so sorry for your loss.”

He nods, glancing longingly at his wife

before I remember,

he’s the one

we lost.

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(RIP Rob. Thanks for the dream visit).

 

poem- This Valentine’s heart February 18, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:30 pm
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Plugged.

Beats stop.

He drops.

Brain dies.

One heart broken

So many hearts grieve.

A Valentine’s Day massacre of our joy.

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RIP Rob

 

poem-After the fatal accident January 11, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:13 pm
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There is your name

on the attendance list.

Absent: excused

Parents called in.

 

 
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