Shawn L. Bird

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

poem- choose pink December 7, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:11 pm
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“No, honey!” the mother said

reaching across that table and plucking

a crayon from her daughter’s hand.

“The sky isn’t pink.  Here,

use this blue crayon.”

The little girl blinked tears.

The teacher leaned over,

and studied the picture.

“What a beautiful sunset

you’ve drawn!” she said.

.

.

For Charlotte, who is teaching crafts at the art gallery, and is amazed at some parents.

 

Pink re-think? March 27, 2013

Filed under: Commentary,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:40 pm
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My shirt is pink!

That means I think each day about those wimpy nerds

who cry unheard in bathroom stalls

and that’s not all.

A pink shirt proves

I’m sensitive, to those less competitive

in this dog eat dog world of grinding cogs in

mean machines that devour

gentle flowers.

I wear a pink shirt

not to subvert the status quo

’cause don’t you know,

I hurt , too.

I hurt just as badly as you!

Those Wal-Mart bodies overflowing with fat

riding their scooters

Are too much of a hoot to resist staring at

and sharing to all five hundred of my Facebook friends.

Ha! Look at that

pathetic loser!

Why respect his dignity?

Why contain my bigotry?

Hey!  I’ve been bullied, too!

I hurt just as much as you.

But that guy, seriously?

Why act so furiously at me?

Why are you lashing at my humour

I’m just laughing, I’m not some tumour

of society, I’m just a guy, so quit it with the anxiety!

Look, here’s a brilliant warden

who puts all his prisoners in pink.  What do you think

of that?  Anti-bullying, hard-labour, and bread and water.

I agree!  I’ll share that will Facebook, see!

A prisoner should not expect respect

while serving time for their misdeeds, not rehabilitation

a trade, or improvement in his station.  No, he should be humiliated

even if being affiliated with negativity destroys personal dignity.

They wear pink shirts and think of their hurts.

Just like me.

I think, in pink, that every day I have a choice

to promote or demote

to improve lives or remove lives.

To embrace what is different without mocking

to try talking with who’s different, in grace,

To show compassion, and kindness, and care

everywhere.

To keep my mouth shut, when I’m inclined to giggle

at the size of some butt,

not to repeat the smut.

Because, who knows?

Perhaps I’m peaking now,

and in twenty years,

my best behind me,

my butt expanding from hours at my computer.

When I want to shop I’ll be on a scooter at WalMart

still just as smart, ready with a kind remark

at bullies snapping my photo with their phone

mocking me, not knowing I was once just like them

condemned to future hurts,

by hypocritical displays

in my pink shirt.

 

 

inadvertent blue brow March 7, 2013

Filed under: anecdotes — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:42 pm
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I have a blue brow.

This certainly doesn’t indicate any blue blood (though my children can trace their patrilineal descent to Charlemagne four ways).

What it does indicate is a lack of care during the rinse cycle, I suppose.

As you know, from the photo at right, I wear coloured streaks in my hair.    At present, all the lower couple of inches of my scalp all the way around is a fuchsia pink, and there are long midnight blue strips on either side.  On the right it’s just above the ear, on the left it goes right up to the top of my head.  (This sounds strange, but looks quite nice, and garners compliments all the time, so don’t worry about my sanity).

The top of my head is very white.   (To effectively camouflage the instant roots I get because my hair grows so fast).

Usually, my brows are almost black (like my hair used to be.  >>sigh<<) but lately half of one has lost its pigment.  Today when I finished rinsing out the dye and blow-drying my hair, I looked into the mirror and discovered that my formerly white brow, is now blue.

I’m not sure what I think about this.

It’s not that I’m adverse to colour, obviously I’m not.  Perhaps it’s just that this seems like an awful lot of blue.  I usually wear blue mascara and eye liner, and the gem in my left nostril is blue, as well.

I like serendipity, though.  It is what it is.

Blue.

I suppose next time I could accidentally dye it pink…

😉

 

standing up to bullies February 28, 2012

All around my school are posters advertising February 29th as the day students are to wear Pink Shirts as a way to take a stand against bullying.

We teach our kids that they need to stand up for themselves and for their friends when they are under attack.  We teach our kids that it is wrong to try to force ideas and opinions without reasoned discourse.  We teach our kids to show respect to those who are different from themselves, whether they agree with them or not.  We teach our kids how to negotiate a fair solution when they have a disagreement with their peers.

In light of this week’s anti-bullying message, watching the BC Provinicial government’s bullying tactics toward teachers is rather ironic.  This week they are trying to force teachers to accept an imposed contract, refusing to either negotiate or to have neutral mediator negotiate on their behalf.

It’s a  lesson in irony.

Teachers believe in equity.  We stand up to bullies.  We have to, in order to be role models for our students.  When we stand with our friends against bullying behavior, bullies back down.  Right?

My pink shirt this Wednesday, February 29th is going to have several layers of meaning, as I do what I can to stand up for those who are bullying me and my colleagues.

 

pink May 18, 2011

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:19 am
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I was just reading this lovely piece on the blog called, “Pink is for Boys” : http://pinkisforboys.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/i-would-just-like-to-say-that-it-is-my-conviction

It made me think.

I have been battling this for years one way or another. I knew a young boy who loved Barbies. We watched him playing with dolls and clothes and figured that was probably an indication of his sexual orientation, but since we didn’t care about his sexual orientation, that was no big deal.

It was interesting that when he finally ‘came out’ in high school, everyone just shrugged their shoulders and said, “Yeah. We knew.” He was bullied before he came out, but not after. When he could acknowledge the truth of himself, others were more willing to accept it as well.  Perhaps the bullies realised that before it was assault, but after it’d be a hate crime?

So it is with many things. If we accept other ways of thinking or being, we acknowledge the truth in ourselves as well as the truth in others. Acceptance lets pink into our palette and adds beauty to our sunrises.

My Middle School students get angry when they are challenged for saying “That’s so gay!”   One is forever saying, “It means happy!” She doesn’t like the response that then she should say, “This is so happy!”  Not accepting the consequences of their words is part of their age, and teaching them to show empathy can be challenging.  Their brains are only beginning to learn abstraction, and some of them are still so concrete it will likely be years before they’re able to grasp what they’re really saying. They’re ostracizing 10% of the population with that kind of remark, and they have trouble seeing why that’s a problem. I’ll keep working on it. Hopefully we’ll get more boys willing to wear pink for anti-bullying days, and more kids  of both sexes willing to discuss why they are so angry if other people are different from them.  Acceptance is a powerful thing, but for some, their own acceptance is so precarious that they aren’t willing to risk accepting others.

What do you think?

 

 
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