Shawn L. Bird

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

poem-Not That Road April 2, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:10 pm
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That way lies madness, dear.

Keep your eyes on the path you chose.

What might have been?

What could have been?

All dangerous conjecture.

Embrace today.

Celebrate this self, right here.

Right now.

Embrace what is.



.NaPoWriMo Day 2 The official prompt from today: Explore your own “Road not Taken”



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poem-flashes February 8, 2019

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:26 pm
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I’ve forgotten your name,

but one glance at the back of a pear-shaped girl

in a tight striped top and jeans,

brought you sailing through the years.

Short, feathered hair.

Acne scars.

Knock-kneed shuffle.

Booming laugh.

Where did I know you?

Whoever you are,

I hope you’re happy today.

I hope your life has been all you dreamed.


poem- accomplishments November 22, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:55 pm
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The litany of what could be

is not as important as

what is now.

What was before

is not as important as

what is now.

For now is all

you ever have.


poem-used October 17, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:48 pm
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I used to

close my eyes

and wish.

Now I

open my eyes

and celebrate.


poem-ghosts October 13, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 4:02 pm
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Of course ghosts are real

Haven’t you felt them

swirling about you

like leaves in the wind?

Memories that haunt

spinning through your head

with joys and sorrows

that have no place in



poem-then July 2, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:44 pm
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The dorm rang with

youthful enthusiasm.

We were learning to live,

expanding our limits,

and searching for a future.

So many years

and you are different

and the same.

We’re still learning,

expanding our limits,

contemplating our journeys,

and the next turn of the road.




Had a nice visit with folks I attended college with thirty years ago.  So much is different, but so much remains the same whenever you meet old friends, doesn’t it?  (It’s that ‘time has pleats’ thing again!)




ancient history June 10, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:00 am
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wasn’t as long as I expected.


didn’t outlast  the decades.


The Colliseum,

The pyramid at Giza,

The hanging gardens of Babylonia.

You may fool the Trojans

with that horse

but you no longer

fool me.

You’re Pompeii:

a frozen moment.
 I am not
an archeologist
any more.

learning, looking back, and moving on October 29, 2012

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 7:42 am
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My father asked me tonight if I’d learned anything at ‘that conference’ I went to, and whether I would change anything from my last books as a result.


So it’s perfect, as it is?

Yes, Dad.  It’s as perfect as I could make it.   I went to the conference for the NEXT book.  All the workshops I picked were about the next project.

A little while later he tried again, trying to convince me that I didn’t understand his initial question.  Wouldn’t I change things, if I was starting over now?

No.  The book is what it needed to be.

He sighed, sure that I wasn’t getting his point.

I know he didn’t get mine.

Every day you’d write a different book.  Every day your words are new.

You can’t look back.  The last project is finished.

There is no point writing if you’re not trying to write the best book you can, at the time.

There’s not point thinking about what you should/could/would do once it’s out, though.  Once it’s in the publisher’s hands, it’s no longer yours to fret over. It’s gone.  It has its own life.  It makes its own connections with readers.

Luckily, Grace is doing just fine.  I don’t have to worry about ways I may have failed her.  I poured the best I had into her world.  It’s done.  She’s being well received.  Is she perfect?  Well, probably not.  But she’s as perfect as I could make her at the time, which means, Yes. She is.

It’s like raising children.  You do the best you can, and then you send them out into the world.  If your personal imperfections cause trouble for your kids as adults, there’s no point beating yourself up about it, or even contemplating what you could have done differently.  You did the best you could at the time, and now you have to look toward the future and doing even better.

Behind us lies the way of madness.  There can be no room for regret, only moving forward, to become the best we can be for the next project.  We learn to improve for the future, not to improve the past.

Past perfect 🙂


past thoughts May 10, 2012

Filed under: Pondering — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:32 pm
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“The past is never where you think you left it.”

-Katherine Anne Porter

Sometimes a quote just whacks you in the gut.  This is one that left me staring at the words on the screen.  It’s true.

You can’t go back again.  When we turn around, everything has changed.  Like some giant game of Labrynth, every move alters the environment.  What’s was, is gone forever.

And yet.

In our idealized, romanticized, wishful, hopeful past, we may find the imaginary gleanings that take us safely onward.  The loved ones left behind still live, our decisions were right, and history is accurate.

Hindsight is 20/20, after all.


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