Shawn L. Bird

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

poem- where August 13, 2014

When you went away

full of dreams and plans

we waved your plane off

and wondered how reality

could possibly live up to

your unreasonable expectations.

We let you go to find your way

and when nothing is

what you thought it’d be

We have faith that

you will figure out

the reason,

and create reasonable

reality

for yourself.

 

quote- babies: possibilities and reality March 16, 2014

Filed under: Quotations — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:15 pm
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My daughter was born on Good Friday, and Easter Sunday found me in the hospital chapel.  The pastor was speaking about change.  I sat in the back and bawled.  I didn’t know exactly why I was crying, but I was overwhelmed with post-partum hormones and the realization that my life would never be the same.  This conversation between characters Claire and Jenny reminded me of that time in my life.

“I’ve thought that perhaps that’s why women are so often sad, once the child’s born,” she said meditatively, as though thinking aloud.  “Ye think of them while ye talk and you have a knowledge of them as they are inside ye,  the way you think they are.  And then they’re born, and they’re different—not the way ye thought of them inside at all.  And ye love them, o’ course, and get to know them the way they are.. but still, there’s the thought of the child ye once talked to in your heart, and that child is gone.  So I think it’s the grievin’ for the child unborn that ye feel, even as ye hold the born one in your arms.”  She dipped her bead and kissed her daughter’s downy skull.

                “Yes,” I said.  “Before…it’s all possibility.  It might be a son, or a daughter.  A plain child, a bonny one.  And then it’s born, and all the things it might have been are gone, because now it is.”              

                …”And a daughter is born, and the son that she might have been is dead,” she said quietly.  “And the bonny lad at your breast has killed the wee lassie ye thought ye carried.  And ye weep for what you didn’t know, that’s gone for good, until you know the child you have, and then at last it’s as thought they could never have been other than they are , and ye feel naught but joy in them.  But ‘til then, ye weep easy.” 

(Diana Gabaldon in Dragonfly in Amber  p. 549)

 

poem- blind January 11, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:34 am
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To a tiny toddling boy

you exclaimed his father’s stupidity

and explained to the

confused face that he was

mommy’s best friend.

No pressure

for his future wife,

that.

 

 

poem- choose pink December 7, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:11 pm
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“No, honey!” the mother said

reaching across that table and plucking

a crayon from her daughter’s hand.

“The sky isn’t pink.  Here,

use this blue crayon.”

The little girl blinked tears.

The teacher leaned over,

and studied the picture.

“What a beautiful sunset

you’ve drawn!” she said.

.

.

For Charlotte, who is teaching crafts at the art gallery, and is amazed at some parents.

 

poem- time tree August 11, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:20 pm
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The tree outside my bedroom window

was the diameter of my skinny child legs:

smooth skinned trunk,

sweet green leaves.

Now, I reach my mother arms

around rough bark,

scrape my wrists as

I stretch to touch

my finger tips together.

There’s summer sun in the scent

of poplar leaves.

I look into the window

searching for my youthful face

gazing out at the future.

 

Baby boy June 14, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:17 pm
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Baby boy,

blue blanket tucked into your chin,

Thumb in in mouth, jaw moving tch-tch-tch-tch.

Perfect tiny face,

an animated melon

beneath the blanket,

immersed in the sweet scent of diaper powder.

I blink.

Baby boy,

Body stretched across the mattress,

Toes draped over the edge,

blankets splayed across your waist,

whiskers bristling your chin.

Mouth agape: GRZZZZ-GRRRRZ-GrrrrrrZ

in the pungent scent of sweat.

Baby boy.

.

.

.

(Even when they’re men, their mothers see the babies they once held in their arms.)

 

What’s the point of fashion, anyway? October 13, 2012

Fashion matters because every day people get up in the morning and, with the palette of clothes they find in their closets and dressers, they attempt to create a visual poem about a part of themselves they wish to share with the world. 

J.J. Lee.  Measure of a Man. p. 53

I was raised by a mother who loved fashion and filled her basement with fabric, patterns and notions.  She crafted beautiful garments, and rarely threw anything out.  Which meant when we moved her from Kelowna here to Salmon Arm, we moved eight closets full of her clothes, and a hundred or so pairs of shoes.  It also meant that Vogue magazine was a staple in our house, and that I grew up with a keen eye on clothes.

J. J. Lee wrote his biography of his father within the context of his time as an apprentice tailor.  His father’s suit provided an exploration of the suit as symbol and metaphor in his own life, but also in the life of all men.  Clothing makes the man, and he was trying to figure out the man the clothing made.

I love his expression of fashion as a visual poem.  It’s very accurate.  Our clothes give the message we wish to send to the world on any particular day.  Whether it’s laid back casual with jeans and a Tshirt or cute and quirky with a hat, bright tunic and leggings, we say something about ourselves.  But we don’t wear the same thing every day, just as we wouldn’t write the same poem every day.

Every day we adorn ourselves to be a visual poem.

I like that.

 

 
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