Shawn L. Bird

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

poem- roots December 19, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:35 am
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And what of you?

Do dark mornings creep around your heart

Reaching through night

Pushing past sight to wrap you tightly

In tomorrow?

What of you?

Your lonely walk, your feet tapping

On cobblestones in ancestral towns,

tripping on the roots of the family tree;

calamity or peace?

I see the dream

That’s you.

 

poem- magique April 12, 2015

Today’s prompt from napowrimo.net:

Describe in great detail your favorite room, place, meal, day, or person. You can do this in paragraph form.

Now cut unnecessary words like articles and determiners (a, the, that) and anything that isn’t really necessary for content; leave mainly nouns, verbs, a few adjectives.

Cut the lines where you see fit and, VOILA! A poem!

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I wrote about a magical place.  Here’s the version edited as per instructions:

.

Through arch

through time

long-abandoned château 

what were windows,

looking down

Rivière de Sorgue bubbles

twists

Musée de Petrarque stands stately

garden

poplars.

We walk

ancient path

limestone cliffs,

tiny secluded valley

the pool where

river is birthed

A hole I could hold in my hands.

Feel magic:

the poet still walks.

Fontaine de Vaucluse

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Here is this beautiful place, a site of a novel (theoretically in progress, though actually resting, like dough) from our visit in 2011.  I dream of returning there to stay and work on this project when the trees are all leafed.   The arch is behind the Musee, a modern-ish town is directly behind the limestone wall/cliff.  I’m standing on the path to the fontaine (the river source).  There is another photo from this walk on the cover of my poetry chapbook 2011.

Fontaine de Vaucluse Sorgue River Chateau above Musee de Petrarque on right.

Fontaine de Vaucluse
Sorgue River
Chateau above
Musee de Petrarque on right.

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Here is the first version (I couldn’t do it in a paragraph form, despite myself!)  I think it could make a fine poem itself:

Through the arch and back through time

the long-abandoned château des Evêques de Cavaillon, XIV

rocks crumbling from what were windows, vacant eyes looking down to where

The Sorgue bubbles by, twisting this way, then that.

Musée de Petrarque stands stately amid garden and tall stretched poplars.

We walk along the ancient path beneath the limestone cliffs,

This tiny secluded valley, until we reach the pool where the river is birthed

from a hole I could hold in my hands.

You can feel the magic here; the poet still walks at

Fontaine de Vaucluse

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Which version do you prefer?  The ‘brevity is an art’ version or the ‘extended version’?

I expect WordPress to link to a complete blog post about our visit to Fontaine de Vaucluse below (entitled Magic Fontaine); you may be interested in reading that post, as well.  

Teacher moment: Do you know who Francesco Petrarch/Petrarque/Petrarca is?    He was the father of humanism.  He coined the term “The Dark Ages.”  He traveled around Europe rescuing ancient Greek and Roman texts; at his death, he had the largest library in Christendom. He is called ‘the first tourist.’  He was a philosopher and scholar.  Most of those things are forgotten.  He is best remembered because he invented the sonnet form (specifically The Petrarchan aka Italian sonnet).  For 50 years he wrote these 14 lined poems to/about Laure/Laura (deNoves) de Sade, a married woman who died, likely of bubonic plague, in 1348.  He met her the first time April 6, 1327 in Avignon at Ste Claire Convent and his adoring sonnets in praise of her remain with us today. They are called Canzoniere. (Somewhere on this blog you’ll find one-#61- that I’ve translated from the Italian, likely also linked below). He was a man who knew he was making contributions to history.  He expected to be remembered.  I have a little crush on him, as in my Grace Awakening series, the musical young man, Ben, was Petrarch in a past life…)

 

poem- offensive March 8, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 4:39 pm
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I am offended by this object.

In my messy,

but perfectly coordinated, kitchen

you have filled the clear soap dispenser

with acid yellow dish detergent,

instead of clear or white

as is the aesthetic choice.

It glares at me:

caution colour

screaming incongruity.

It hurts my eyes;

it seers my sensibility.

But you are proud

of your helpfulness,

and this is your house, too.

Perhaps if I squint,

it will be invisible?

.

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⇓ ⇓ ⇓ ⇓ ⇓ ⇓ ⇓ ⇓ ⇓ ⇓ ⇓ ⇓ ⇓ ⇓ ⇓ ⇓

This piece works with the theme SHARING SPACE on today’s http://www.shawnbird.com/poetic-diversity-project

Please consider sharing a poem or a link on this theme and help me with my grad school course!

 

poem- philosophy of place March 3, 2015

A poem created as part of my grad school  Poetic Diversity Project:

Where I grew up

all the faces were variations of my own

Snow White, Cinderella,

assorted Prince Charmings

interchangeable

My experiences with other cultures were

Princess Tiger Lily, Little Black Sambo, 

Emperor’s Nightingale.

But somehow I knew the world was bigger

and I wanted to wrap my tongue

around other languages

entwine new vowels

between rhythmic syllables and 

see inside minds that

offered something

more.

Offered something 

more.

Offered something

not better

not worse

just different

Because different is worth noticing

because different means to the same end

speak to a journey with different views

a different beauty

a different way

of being human,

offers something

more.

 

poem-there

Midnight sun

your bright glow

matches my summer soul.

Midday night

your sky indigo

I hibernate and am made whole

Northern land

that journey long ago

taught me a heart has many homes.

.

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A rumination on my Rotary youth exchange year in Finland.

 Do you have a place that changed your philosophy and perspective?  Share your poetry or leave a comment about it at https://shawnbird.com/poetic-diversity-project/  

We’d love to hear your voice!

⇑  ⇑  ⇑  ⇑  ⇑  ⇑  ⇑  ⇑  ⇑  ⇑  ⇑  ⇑

 

 

overflowing July 10, 2013

Filed under: anecdotes,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:50 am
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Words overflowingliving room writing zone stacks

piling

compiling.

Words for research

for inspiration

for entertainment.

3 keyboards

for composing,

at desk,

on the couch,

in the bath

(waterproof!)

Words overflowing

like water.

Plainly,

I need

more book shelves.

.

.

.

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You know, I think there are probably over 100 books in the area shown in this shot?  Wild.  This is my writing zone.  Theoretically, I sit at the desk, but usually I am lying on the couch.  Theoretically, I use the ergonomic keyboard, but usually I just use the mini-keyboard on the notebook computer, which is probably not good for hand health.  One of my favourite places to write is (seriously) the bath tub.  Why I can focus so well there, I have no idea.  Computer well away from water, waterproof keyboard on my knees, I don’t have to see what I type, and I get huge chunks of story.  

Where do you write?

The writing zone…
 

 
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