Shawn L. Bird

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

poem-sijo April 20, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:33 am
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Day 20 NapoWriMo prompt is the sijo, a Korean form. It’s a triplet with lines of 14-16 syllables, each divided. Conflict, development, resolution with a twist.

The school bell rings; kids enter one by one, masked, alone in the crowd.

They ignore the rule to space themselves out, clamouring for comfort.

Teens want to crush close together, as they stare at their phones.

 

Poem- Exam Day April 14, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:33 am
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In the class room

the fan makes the loudest noise

second to the crinkle of paper

turning, shuffling.

Shifting bodies.

deep breaths,

inhaling fortitude,

exhaling a last,

desperate hope.

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Day 14 of NaPoWriMo. Not following the prompt, which is about examining one’s name. Patrick Lane has already written the only Bird poem I’d want to write!

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I don’t endorse any of the WordPress added ads, unless they’re for Fluevog shoes.

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poem- they’ve installed the frosted glass February 10, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:06 pm
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barriers to the outside

secrets

distance

privacy

safety

at a cost of claustrophobia

these walls close in

while we huddle

masking our smiles

nervous

hidden thoughts.

 

poem-i don’t want to write a poem January 13, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:52 pm
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Another demo pantoum poem written with my Creative Writing students today. This one demonstrates the power of this form, as small shifts can alter or intensify meaning. The kids weren’t in the mood to write at the beginning, but by the second stanza they were laughing and engaged as we looked for rhymes that worked.

I don’t want to write a poem today
I’m too tired to use my brain
The thought fills me with dismay
Poems make me insane

I’m too tired to use my brain
My mind is feeling foggy
Poems make me insane
My eyes are getting soggy

My mind is feeling foggy
Can I just return to bed?
My eyes are getting soggy
My heart is filled with dread

I’ll just return to bed
I’m much too tired to think
My heart is filled with dread
My life is on the brink

I’m much too tired to think
If my feelings are uncaged
My life is on the brink
The words won’t fill the page

When my feelings are uncaged
all the thoughts bring me dismay
Words will over-fill the page
I can’t write a poem today

 

poem-be happy pantoum November 7, 2020

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:02 pm
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Another demo pantoum written with an English class. 🙂

I wish we were happy

I wish we were glad

This poem will be quite sappy

But it will not be sad

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I wish we were glad

I wish we were silly

But it will not be sad

Though the weather is chilly

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I wish we were silly

That election is scary

Though the weather is chilly

The situation is hairy!

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That election is scary

But koalas are cute

The situation is hairy!

But I bought new boots!

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Koalas are cute

Mac and cheese comfort food

I bought new boots!

Folks, don’t be so rude!

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Mac and cheese comfort food

Make this poem quite sappy

Folks, don’t be so rude!

I wish we were happy

 

Poem- Summer storm August 1, 2020

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:30 am
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This air is thick enough to drown in
Wading through your words
Lightning flashes in the hills like my
anxiety after the press conference.
Summer storm raging.
They announce back to school plans.
I’m watching the hills for forest fires,
fearing the burning.
Brief respite: rain splatters on the back deck,
before oppression descends again,
and our power goes out.

 

poem-they’re all the same May 6, 2019

Filed under: Poetry,Teaching — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:15 pm
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Pick up any yearbook

any place

any year.

Turn the pages,

you will recognize them.

That one:

always so friendly.

That one:

forever in trouble.

That one:

so cool.

That one:

Oh! The music!

That one:

skipped more than attended

That one:

kept you up nights,

worried about wise choices

safe places.

Any yearbook,

familiar faces,

each so unique,

every one the same.

 

poem- scratching January 23, 2019

Filed under: Poetry,Teaching — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:11 am
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Pens poised,

Paper rustling.

Begin.

Destiny scratched

into this exam.

Future doors open or close.

You can ruin your life!

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Don’t stress.

Life is not a straight road.

If an exam slams a door,

wiggle through windows,

force up foundations,

drop down the chimney.

Destiny is carved in determination,

not scratched in this exam.

 

Education- Small but mighty learning November 24, 2018

The following article was originally published in The Gateway newspaper, Sicamous, BC, June 2014.  I no longer teach at ERS, but the school continues to engage in innovative programs with some of the most skilled teachers in SD 83.  When I left, half the teachers had Masters degrees and a third of them were published authors!

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SMALL BUT MIGHTY LEARNING AT ERS.

© Shawn L. Bird 2014

Eagle River Secondary (ERS) has been the educational heart of Sicamous since students began learning on the property nearly a century ago. In recent years, declining enrolment has required the school to become creative in order to offer programs that keep students in town. These successful innovations are causing a stir throughout the province.

The changes have included offering grade specific Core classes (English, Social Studies, Math, and Science) in the mornings and multigrade electives in the afternoons. The electives have embraced the teachers’ varied passions, allowing students to learn through classes in geo-caching, horticulture, international cuisine, cake decorating, hockey, outdoor education and guitar as well as more traditional classes like volleyball, biology and art. Of special note is the Social Justice class, which has students in the community helping at the thrift store and Meals on Wheels, harvesting vegetables for the food bank, gardening, and collecting for various charities.

A new focus on flexible learning by the Ministry of Education became the key to Eagle River’s innovations. The school has been given freedom to develop unconventional approaches to timetabling and course offerings. As a result of the success of these efforts, ERS has been recognized by the provincial government as a flagship school of the BC Ed Plan. Grade eight and nine students have had the opportunity to learn together in their choice of six mixed Science/ Socials classes throughout the school year; grade ten will be added in 2014-15. These courses have provided hands on, project based learning exploring local plants, controversial issues, water, astronomy, sound, electricity, revolutions, world religions, and cultural fashions among other offerings.

ERS is also very active in Career Education initiatives. Students are able to earn credits for their work experience in their jobs outside of school. There are two ERS students working in the community as Secondary School Apprentices, collecting hours with BC’s Industry Training Authority and gaining high school credit while they work as a marine mechanic or electrician. ERS works with School District 83 to provide two other students with dual credits (both college and high school) for career training as an automotive repair technician or a hair dresser. These students do a semester or year of training at another SD83 school, and will return to ERS tograduate with their friends.

Students also have the opportunity to parlay their own interests into Independent Directed Study (IDS) blocks. Students develop a set of learning goals, based on existing Ministry courses, and then leave the building to explore. Presently a pair of students is doing an IDS in fly fishing, learning about insect and fish life cycles, creating flies, fishing, and recording their findings. This is science and physical education for real life! Other students have created IDS courses in music, mountain biking, fitness, and long boarding. ERS partnered with UBC’s Okanagan campus to offer Maker Day. This was a chance to explore creative thinking and problem solving by students and community members working in small, multi-age groups to create prototypes of inventions. Maker Day is a movement dedicated to inquiry learning. Three ERS teachers are working on Masters degrees at UBCO, and the university is keen to have greater involvement with the school.

Eagle River’s innovations are making waves. Schools from all over the province are calling or coming to see what is happening within the walls. With only 150 students in grades eight to twelve, ERS may be small, but it’s mighty. Great things are happening for Sicamous’s kids, and the province is taking

You can find the original article in situ here on page 8. GatewayJun2014-SmallMightp8.

Shawn L. Bird BA, MEd.

 

 

poem-care March 8, 2018

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:40 am
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She shouldn’t care more about you

than you do yourself.

Your success should be on your shoulders

not on hers.

She can guide, support, aid,

but you must do the work,

think the thoughts, stretch your brain,

believe you can.

There is no easy way.

You need to care enough to be your best,

trust the tools and safe venue for risk,

let her cheer from the side,

as she watches you ride

away into your future.

You need to trust, this isn’t a place

to stay.

 

 
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