Shawn L. Bird

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

poem- performance art July 22, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 7:24 pm
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I know,

that sometimes my performance faltered.

I reached down or up for notes that would not be seized.

I fumbled  at times with pitch, tune, entrances, but

every time

I believed.

I believed I was selling crumbs to birds

who were going to die horrible deaths

without them.

I believed that every person

within the sound of my voice should buy

just a small bag for the ‘ungry young ones.

My voice trembled with my belief, as I gazed out at the faces,

beseeching each and every one to part with a tuppence.


You believed.

Stranger, how you clung to my arm,

when me met on the sidewalk, months later,

eager to tell me how you’d heard my voice

in your head weeks afterwards.  How beautiful it was.

How it made you wept.

I, who knew every vocal fault,

struggled to believe

that my believing,

had been enough to reach past my inadequacy.

Thank you

for reminding me,

it’s the only thing that connects

in the end.



Image (c) Evan Buhler used with permission. “Feed the Birds”. Mary Poppins Shuswap Theatre 2016.

Me, being The Bird Woman November-December 2016.  

I met a fan of the show yesterday and struggled once again to come to terms with the fact that our art has its own life and power.  It can transcend us to speak poignant messages to receptive ears.


poem-double thinking December 2, 2016

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:15 am
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Image (c) Evan Buhler used with permission. “Feed the Birds”. Mary Poppins Shuswap Theatre 2016.

In the wings,

tickling throat,

I’ve been coughing all day.


This is going to be awful.

What if I crack on the high notes?

What if I can’t find my first note?

Oh, no.  None of that.

It’s going to be great.  You can do it!

Enter to the cue.

Gaze around the stage at imaginary birds.

Take the mark, spotlight on.

First note.  Yay! Perfect.  

Look at the audience.  Let’s make them feel the pathos.


This is going surprisingly well.

Uh oh.

That means I’m bound to screw up something soon.

First section over.

Other actors dialogue.

I am miming in my space.

Next section is the high section.  

I’m doomed.  My sore throat will catch.

You’re going to find that tricky start note.

You can do it.

Other actor finishes beautifully.

As usual.

She passes the song back to me.

Will I get it?

Oh, yay! That was it!


The wide interval, the interval, the interval.

I hate this interval. I always flatten it.

No! You’re going to hit it tonight.

Oh! That was fantastic!

That was the best I’ve ever done it with an audience.

I’m going to screw up the end now.

Stop that! It’s going to be fine.

You’ve done it a thousand times!

Other actor sings her part.


You got through the hard part.

Just the high note for the ending to find.

Whew. That’s the note.  Send this note to the back row.

Up. Up. Up.

Oh, crap. Here comes the harmony section.  How does it go again?


Relax! You know this.  


Hear the chord? Lovely.

Timing on the ending. Arg. This is always a crap shoot.

You can do it.  Listen for the beat.

There. Nailed it.  There. Nailed it. There. Ha. 

Soar up to ending.

Hold. Hold.  Hold.  Hold.  Hold.

Gaze out to the audience.  

Deep breath.

That was amazing.

Don’t rush off.  Listen.  Take the applause.  Embrace this moment of success.

Off the stage.

Fast costume change.

Shed one persona, don another.

Inside grinning, grinning, grinning.

I was GREAT tonight!  

That was the best rendition I’ve done for an audience.  





In the midst of my performance last night, I noticed the commentary happening in my head.  It was as if there were two of me or maybe three in there commenting on the action!  I thought it’d make an interesting poem.  I’m not sure I’ve managed what I was aiming for, but that’s the general idea, anyway.



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