Shawn L. Bird

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

poem-preservation June 10, 2019

We need to be respectful

of tender psyches, mental illness,

all the agonies of existence.

We need to be respectful

of our own tenderness

and pained existence.

When being gentle of their tender troubles,

makes aches worse for ourselves,

who needs to respect whom?

Draw battle lines,

or at least find a bastion

against cries

calling you to your destruction,

dragging you to drown in the moat of their fragility.

Be respectful of your own precious sanity.

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poem- cracks June 9, 2019

I’m slipping apart

Deep gut groaning,

inviserating split.

Your knife is sharp

and oh so subtle

No one sees the slicing

as pieces of me fall:

blood, tears and confusion.

Devotion’s greatest trick.

Betrayal by the longed for hope,

tenderly nurtured,

joyfully gathered to the heart.

Once before, protection pushed you out.

You said your sorries, cried for communication

and here we are again.

Cruelty masquerading as the heart I carried.

Pain pretending to be love.

No one else would be allowed in, after all this anguish.

Broken pieces of how I used to feel.

Wondering where the sweet creature disappeared to.

Mothers earn merit badges from the torture

of their children.

 

poem- small talk May 13, 2019

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:40 pm
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Sunny cashier:

“Did you have a good Mother’s Day yesterday?”

Contemplation.

Truth.

“No.”

Pause.

Longer pause.

Sunny voice: “I left the kids with the husband and

spent a lovely time on the lake. It was just what I needed!”

“Ah. Nice.

For some of us, it’s a time of grief.”

(Honesty is the best policy).

Still cheery: “Oh. Yes!”

Oh, dear.

Some of us, once safely through a horrid day,

are tripped by reminders of our private grief

in chirpy questions at a till.

When you tear open wounds,

what did you mother teach you to do?

 

 

 

poem-another day May 12, 2019

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:07 pm
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Reverberating agony

extruding writhing beasts

into the world.

Succubi at the breast,

wails in the night.

Small shrieking terrors

racing up corridors, escaping

in department stores.

Feed them. Mind them. Hold them.

Love them. Drive them.

Pimple popping, attitude rocking,

trouble stalking.

Feed them. Love them. Release them.

Celebrate them.

Wait for them.

Wonder what

went

wrong.

 

 

poem-torn February 1, 2016

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:59 am
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There at the bottom of the bag

is that precious photo

of the beloved man, now gone.

You have torn it into shreds,

torn my respect for you,

torn my love of you,

torn my heart in two.

It was not enough that he adored

and worshipped you?

You were blinder than him,

though he had the account with CNIB.

Your bitterness is poison

and I will not drink it.

 

poem-new day again November 20, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:19 pm
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Every day you approach the computer

“What are we doing again?”  I show you where to see the assignment.  I review the expectations, the objectives, the criteria.

“Oh!  Okay!  I get it!” you say, and set to work.

The next day, we do it again.

Today you stare at me with blank, hollow eyes.

“I don’t get it,” you say.

Everyone else is busily working.  You’ve been absent.  When you come, you have to study for a test in another subject.  Or see the counselor.  Or help your friend.  In fourteen hours of research time, you’ve been here for eight.  Do you have anything to show for the time?  Others have the list of the websites they consulted, pages of notes, excitement over how they’ll turn research into a presentation next week.

You have confusion.

The same confusion from the first day. Repeated again.  Some days we can help you.  Some days you are confident and productive.

But nothing stays in your memory more than an hour.

Other days you are sullen and oppositional, because you’re sure  you’ve never seen this before, and you’re angry about it.

“This is stupid.”

What more can I do? I ask.  They tell me your parents refuse to have you tested.  They don’t want you to have a label, so we don’t know if this is a cognitive impairment, learning disability, or the results of drug use or a sports injury.  A label comes with funding to give you the additional support you plainly need.  Keep repeating expectations.  Keep explaining the criteria.  I agree.  This is stupid.

The course is almost over and you return each day to week one,  living a personal Groundhog Day loop,

and no one knows how to pull you out.

 

poem- censored September 15, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:56 pm
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You do not believe in censorship

you say

and yet you sit there and complain that

I accept work with curses.  Work that is

about process, about drafting, about stretching.

I do not censor youthful voices

that may want to shout,

to try new language, new words.

We learn about audience and persona

and your child is allowed to stretch her wings

to try on new faces and expressions with me.

She is allowed to find her voice in my class room,

even if her voice

is louder than you like.

 

 
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