Shawn L. Bird

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

poem-earnest November 28, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:41 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

She’s earnest

in all the best ways.

Plasters on that quivering smile

faces the crowd

does her best,

but her best

is not good enough.

Earnestness is not enough.

But I tried!

is not enough.

She needs to be committed

to earnest effort

toward excellence,

maybe for years,

and maybe even then

her earnest desire will not

be enough.

Desire must lead to skill

mingle with effort

sprinkle with luck

and maybe then

earnest will be



poem-surprises May 4, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 4:12 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

It still surprises me

To uncover these weaknesses

You try to so hard to cover

With bombast and bomb blasts.

Acting out to hide insecurity


And the itching awareness that

You don’t measure up.

Your brain doesn’t quite hold onto

the words

the meanings

The feelings fill you up






Just because

is not enough answer.




Nature?  Nurture?

Better just say


You didn’t win the lottery

And everything will be harder.

You’re pushing at the pull door.

But if you quit pushing against it

embrace your responsibility

For your own life,

Take it

I know it will go

Far more smoothly

For you.

You are so much stronger

than you believe

you are.

We just have to pull together.


poem- dust December 25, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:46 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The mantle piece is gathering dust,

as are other ledges,too

The strings are dusty on the harp

the soundboard’s dusty, true.

The floors could use a washing.

Windows want a spotless view,

But what I lack in house keeping

I make up in love for you.



(Someone is vacuuming and washing floors before we leave for Christmas dinner, causing stress to poodles.  Hint: it isn’t me).


magicians’ secrets October 23, 2012

I was driving home last night, listening to my audio book  (A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon), and as the story went along I was thinking, “Oh.  There she goes again, neatly fitting in a piece of back story.  That was subtly done!”  The thought must have happened at least a dozen times.

I’m on my 9th re-read (print and audio) of this particular book within this calendar year.  I’ve seen all these lines before.  I knew what she was doing the previous 8 reads, but now, having come out of a workshop  where she discussed this technique and the careful process of fitting in these references to events from earlier books, and having her comments in my blue pencil session fresh in my mind, I can hear her voice echoing along with narrator Davina Porter’s.

It’s like the end of Wizard of Oz, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!”

It makes it harder to read books merely for enjoyment, when you very consciously catch sight of the technique.  I suspect it also makes one pickier as a reader, since you have less tolerance for poorly executed technique.

Hopefully, it makes you a better writer, though.  You grow in knowledge.  Not just intuitive awareness, but conscious knowledge of an executed skill that must be mastered to be an effective writer.


%d bloggers like this: