Shawn L. Bird

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

poem- prep July 14, 2018

Beneath a cloudless blue sky

I feel the storm coming,

black clouds gathering.

Could they reflect black shirts?

I ponder,

seriously,

if I should be building false walls

to hide those who will be escaping tyranny.

I wonder,

if I am far enough from a border to avoid

occupation.

A century ago,

they didn’t understand the signs,

but now we do.

Those who read are the first removed

when the evil rises.

Do all those kids who demanded,

“Why do we have to learn this?”

remember that their teachers said,

“So you’ll see the signs.”

“So it will never happen again.”

“Remember, they elected Hitler;

“they heiled and fell for his lies,

“because they wanted to believe their superiority,

“wanted a scapegoat for their troubles.”

There can be no excuses.

Shall I buy bricks or drywall?

Where will I construct false bottoms?

Where will we hide in the resulting rubble,

when the jack boots stomp through?

Another cristelnacht, this time in New York?

The hammock swings its consolation:

It can’t happen here.

It won’t happen here.

How many said those words a century

ago?

How many grew to knowing the meaning

of fear?

 

poem-not me May 29, 2014

My last pay cheque came

with a 10% fine,

because I belong to a union,

and somewhere in the province

someone else striking.

Not me.

I’m at work today,

my strike day was yesterday,

but I am fined today anyway.

A government that has twice

been told by the courts that

its actions are illegal,

that it bargains in bad faith,

that it tries to provoke problems,

simply ignores the judiciary’s order that it owes teachers

ten million dollars it took from them illegally.

Nope.  This government

continues to bully its educated citizens,

labelling scape goats and whiners.

Setting its propaganda machine in motion.

Sure that no one will believe what it is really doing.

Why is the public not up in arms?

Why are they not concerned

to see a government stripping rights

from its citizens?

Perhaps people are distrustful

of the well-educated,

so it’s easy to manipulate them?

Truth: 10% is off my pay cheque,

because someone else is demanding the justice today

that I marched for yesterday.

Sixty years ago,

our boys were fighting against

injustices like this.

They are likely turning in their graves

at the new chancellor

of British Columbia

and the apathetic

citizenry

who avert their eyes,

pretending not to see,

and mutter, “At least she’s not after me.”

 

 
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