Shawn L. Bird

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

quote- Lady Gaga on tenacity March 3, 2019

Filed under: Quotations — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:58 pm
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In her 2019 Oscar acceptance speech, Lady Gaga said,

“If you are at home, and you’re sitting on your couch and you’re watching this right now, all I have to say is that this is hard work. I’ve worked hard for a long time, and it’s not about, you know…it’s not about winning. But what it’s about is not giving up. If you have a dream, fight for it. There’s a discipline for passion. And it’s not about how many times you get rejected or you fall down or you’re beaten up. It’s about how many times you stand up and are brave and you keep on going.”


poem- motivation September 20, 2016

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:05 pm
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How much of the stuff that they make you teach us

Do you really want to teach? He asked

What are you talking about?  I reply.

I LOVE this stuff!

We’re passionate about our subject,

glory in the possibilities,

long to share wisdom!

Do you know how many years I studied this stuff?

I adore it all!


how wonderful when we connect students to our subject

so they are empowered by it, too.



poem-butter October 11, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:30 pm
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She studies his torso,

surveys lines and curves,



.  and

.    flesh,


wishes she was butter:

s p r e a d   o u t ,



in those crevices,

turning into warm caramel

within his embrace.


quote-Ken Robinson on creative people July 15, 2015

Filed under: Quotations,Teaching — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:34 pm
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Some of the most brilliant, creative people I know did not do well at school.  Many of them didn’t really discover what they could do–and who they really were–until they’d left school and recovered from their education.

Sir Ken Robinson in The Element

I am doing my Masters in Education at the moment.  Specifically, I’m on campus at University of British Columbia Okanagan taking two courses, each three hours a day, for three extremely intensive and exhausting weeks.  As I write, I am exactly half way through my degree.  In another week and a half I will have completed 6 of 9 courses. I am presently trying to determine what I will do for a project to reflect the research I do around my question which explores passion-based learning and teaching in a high school.

I come to this research because since I have fulfilled my passions as an author and poet, it has completely changed the way I teach.  I am happier.  I believe my students are happier because of it.  I suspect they learn better because I bring my outside passions (as a writer) into my class room.

Unlike the people Robinson knew, I did do well in school, in the classes I loved like English, History, and Choral, at least.  I didn’t do as well in math and sciences.   I knew I wanted to be a writer even back in high school.  I was in the yearbook (publishing a book each year!), newspaper (publishing a column each month!), as well as musical theatre (applause!).  Back then, all three of those were extra-curricular activities.  How great would it have been to have been earning English and art credits for all that learning?  Our kids today do.

I was so jealous of Sue Hinton who’d written The Outsiders while she was in grade eleven!  Consider: she failed English that year. What a travesty! Next year, I have 2 students who are planning to do Independent Directed Studies writing novels (or perhaps novellas) for credit.  Sue Hinton would have loved English in my school.

I may have known my passion, but I didn’t leap in and start (well, finish) writing that novel in my head until 25 years after leaving high school.  That’s a long time to have a fire smoored, awaiting the flash of flame and burning of achievement!

How about you?  What’s your passion?  Is it smoored or burning?  Did formal school help or hinder development of your passion?


poem- 3 things March 25, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:07 am
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On her blog @SarahDoughty prompted:

Tell me a story covering three things:

  1. a promise
  2. why you write
  3. a passion

This was my response.  Not exactly a story, but you know, brevity is an art! 🙂  What’s your response?  Go check out her blog and leave a thought.


I do; I do
release the stories,
my dreams of you.



I feel like I need to take this moment to point out what is going on in this poem, because while there are only 3 lines and eleven words, they are woven tightly using a variety of poetic technique.  First, while each line responds in order to Sarah’s 3 prompts, they also read as one sentence, so there are overlapping meanings.  Secondly, there is a pattern of 4-3-4 words.  Thirdly, repetition in the first line is quite emphatic, but provides a rhyme that tightens the ending with you.  

Fourthly, I get seriously carried away with the sound devices assonance and consonance, binding each component of the words to their fellows.  There are three vowels sounds repeated, the only out-lier is the ‘o’ in stories. e.g. I, I, my; do, do, you; release, stories, dreams; the, of.  (Reminder: assonance is repetition of a vowel sound, NOT a letter).  The consonant sounds also repeat with do, do, dreams; release, stories, dreams; release, stories, dreams; my dreams.  The the and of  are both *fricatives, and so while not exactly the same sound, the brain hears them as ‘close enough.’

Finally, that leaves  only the ‘l’ is without a partner, except visually–because I,I,l look the same, don’t they?  And of course, the lonely o from stories, visually matches the o’s in do.  In other words, every component of each word is tied somehow to the rest of the poem.  Absolutely everything fits like a tight puzzle.

Did I do any of this intentionally?  No, actually.  I just responded to the prompt, tidied it up until I liked it, and then when I copied it here, I noticed how tight it was.

*Fricatives in English are f,v, s (both s/z sounds), th (both θ and ð).


poem- suspended September 22, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:23 am
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I am


between breath,

hovering within a moment,

alive in every cell,

dying a small death

until I’m inhaling





poem-glad July 7, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:52 pm
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She searches





His tongue


her poetry

and she sighs

on the harmony

of their song.


poem- warning July 1, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 4:52 pm
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I want you.

Despite all the objections,

inspections, rejections,


my predilection

is you.




Just think  all the things the poet could be addressing here.  Is the ‘you’ a lover, a baby, a puppy, a great pair of shoes…?  😉  What is your predilection?


poem- perspective October 31, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 8:04 pm
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Honey lips

wake me

to a dreamy reality:

Unexpected pleasures,

moonlight impressions.

Your laughter

invites me to discover

a new perspective.



6 pillars of a strong marriage August 8, 2012

Filed under: Pondering — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:15 am
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Following on the heels of yesterday’s post on the purpose of marriage, here are what I consider the six most important components to a lasting relationship.  There have to be a few pillars, because let’s face it, pillars do get knocked out from under us.  If one or two of these is damaged on life’s journey, the other pillars are strong enough to hold up the marriage while rebuilding occurs.


1. mutual respect

Precisely what you respect might differ, but you have to value your spouse as an individual.   Intellect? Accomplishments?  Acumen?  Beauty?  Skills?  It doesn’t matter.  If you respect each other for who you are, you acknowledge personal value.


2. communication

Problems will come up.  If you are able to hear one another and work together to solve them, you can overcome them.


3. common purpose

Your goal may be to maintain a middle-class life or to conquer the world.  You may share a faith or intellectual pursuits.  Whatever it is, if you’re both of the same mind and working within the same expectations, your relationship will grow.


4. mutual affection

If you genuinely like your partner as a person, it’s much easier to live with them and their inevitable foibles.  Friends make the best lovers.


5. trust

Trust is earned and must be maintained by constant vigilance.  You need to be reliable and consistent, abiding by the understanding and expectations that you develop together.


6. tenacity

If you are not willing to leave the marriage if problems come up, then you have to negotiate.  You are forced to find solutions to the challenges.  Not being willing to accept the possibility of failure goes a very long way to ensuring success.


Did you notice what was missing from my list?  🙂   I suspect that passion is like the paint on a house.  It makes it look nice, but it has absolutely nothing to do with soundness of the structure beneath.  I wouldn’t want to live in a passionless marriage, but should my spouse be sliced in half in some horrible accident, all the things that make our marriage strong would still be there.

The neurologists talk about the brain chemistry that keeps couples together and passion plays a crucial role.  Check out The Science of Love.  Is all emotion neurological?  Pragmatically, does it matter?

PS 2013/06 I’m thinking that for all my talk of pillars, the walls are the physical intimacies of a sexual relationship.  Yes, the roof/relationship stays up without it, but it’s a lot warmer inside if there are walls to keep out the winds!


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