Shawn L. Bird

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

poem- him December 14, 2018

Yes, there is laughter;

I see it sparkling in those eyes,

twinkling in the crevices of his face.

I see it dancing,

in those jaunty steps,

off-kilter, long-legged ramblings.

I see it in the shaking shoulders,

heaving joy, hard embraces.

There is laughter through that body,

whether we hear it

or not.



poem- light at the end of the tunnel December 5, 2018

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:50 pm
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There’s a spark in the darkness,

a pin point of light,

that might just mean,

day is right ahead.



poem- in the dung heap May 8, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 8:45 am
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Your displeasure wafts off you like

the shimmering waves of a manure pile in July.

You reject optimism and trust.

You will let no sunshine disturb your dung beetles.


poem-wishes September 11, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:01 am
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In the middle of everything

wishes whispering,

It is war.


is relative.

Whispering wishes,

Everything in the middle.




quote- colo-rectal theology September 20, 2013

Filed under: Quotations — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:36 am
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Most things are not…simple and pure, with so much focus given to each syllable of life as life sings itself.  But that kind of attention is the prize.  To be engrossed by something outside ourselves is a powerful antidote for the rational mind, the mind that so frequently has its head up its own ass–seeing things in such a narrow and darkly narcissistic way that is presents a colo-rectal theology, offering hope to no one.

~ Anne Lamott

Bird by Bird.  p. 102

It is a wonderful goal to see the good in things, to relish moments, to celebrate the daily joys, to dwell on the positive.  It’s not always easy.  Looking closely can also mean seeing more clearly, taking off our rose coloured spectacles and really looking at a situation, searching for a solution or an understanding.  Is micro or macro view the more rational one?  Does it depend on what you’re looking at?


overflowing June 8, 2013

You look at my

half-empty glass

shake your head,

insert a straw,

blow in laughter and love,

and make my happiness

bubble up until it



Optimism August 25, 2010

Filed under: Pondering — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:09 am
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“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”
~Helen Keller

This was on the white board at Curves today.  It made me think of all the people I know with clinical depression, and how they so rarely achieve the things that the rest of us think they are capable of.  Depression steals optimism.  Pessimism does not breed greatness. 

If you have hope, then the pages you write, or the course you take, or the person you call up fit into a possible future that you are willing to trust will be a good one.  A depressed person thinks, “Why write it down?  It won’t be any good.  No one will ever want to read it.  No one would buy it.”  Words of genius are lost to the world.  A depressed person thinks, “I’ll probably fail the course.  The prof won’t like me.  It’ll probably be boring.”  They miss the inspiration and enlightenment of education.  A depressed person thinks, “Why call?  She’s probably not home.  She wouldn’t want to go out with me.  I would probably embarrass her.”  An opportunity for a new friend or a great romance is lost.

Optimism is just a glimmer of faith that not only will something be fine, but that it might be better than it is.  Optimists fuel creativity, exploration, adventure, and thought. 

I am optimistic by nature.  When I envision a poem, a painting, a needlework, a knitting project, a sewing project, a story or a lesson, I am not expecting failure.  This is not to say failure doesn’t happen.  I have a lot of unfinished knitting projects around, in particular.  However, that fact just makes it more exciting when one finally does get finished! 

If I wasn’t optimistic, I couldn’t do the job I do, particularly in the environment I’m in.  I have been teaching 18 years.  When I started, I never imagined that I would have spent 18 years without belonging to one school, without knowing that the school district valued my labour and creativity enough to attach me to a single school where I could blossom forth brilliance that would make my class one parents encouraged their own kids to take, as the generations wrapped around.  One that inspired kids to become teachers or writers.  Instead, even after all this time, I can’t even plan a semester in advance.  I can’t arrange a terrific field trip to Ashland Shakespeare Festival a year hence, because I don’t know where I’ll be in a year.  I can’t invest in products or literature for my classroom, because next semester I might not be in that school.  Keeping teachers ‘lean and hungry’ does not make for quality education.  I miss the teacher I could be with security.

Still, I’m blessed, because I always find some place that needs my service, and I know even if the students are in different schools around the district, and even if I’m only a semester in a school, that I am inspiring some of those I teach.  Just today I had an email from a former student wondering if she could switch into my English 12 class.  Ironic, since I don’t know what school I’ll be at this year, let alone what I’ll be teaching.  If I wasn’t optimistic I would have curled into a ball and given up a long time ago.

Optimism is the key to happiness and success. 

Anti-depressants don’t hurt.


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