Shawn L. Bird

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

poem-should it be that way? May 10, 2019

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:23 pm
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It was a suicide.

Two weeks have passed.

“The funeral is today.

Or. Not a funeral.  A celebration of life.”

Matter-of-fact voice.

How many times had intention

shown him this path?

That prescription the only protection

against this road.

“Would you like me to come with you?”


Let me watch you in this crowd.

See if I can read your mind.

“No. I’m going to stand. It’ll be crowded.”

Did he know,

so many people would want to be there?

Did he know,

so many people cared?

Or was he counting on them,

covering for him when

he wasn’t there?

Two paths forking off this road,

wives watching the journey,

or buried by it.



poem-choose strong May 26, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:40 pm
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You can not choose the circumstance

that fights to keep you down,

but you can choose how you respond;

you can choose to be strong.

Whatever trauma shatters you,

Whatever hurts you feel,

The weakness is just temporary;

You have the strength to heal.





A fitting conclusion to yesterday’s poem, today’s piece reflects the message of Robb Nash and his band who played for the high schools of Salmon Arm today. I’m glad to part of Shuswap Rotary which supported Robb’s visit. Read more about Nash’s astonishing life story and inspirational work here:


poem- clown tears August 11, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:51 pm
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Our laughter

will have a poignant pain,

knowing now

what such joy

cost you.







poem- the other side January 10, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:27 am
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The world is white on the outside

but she is black.

The core of her is burnt and raw,

bubbling flesh like molten lava.

The yard is sugar coated and bright

but she is dark.

The soul of her is encrusted and festering

rotting organs like gangrenous limbs.

The world is playfully building snowmen

but she is deconstructing herself.

Laughing children throw snowballs from

behind fortress walls that will melt.

Her fortress is firmly constructed;

joy will not reach her

until it bleeds away like winter.





Today’s composition explores contrast.  I’m trying to be a bit Plath-like here, though it’d be hard to capture the depths of her misery without living the pathos, perhaps?


Poem: you May 7, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:24 am
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You stand against the

wall, arms crossed, sardonic smile

immune to laughter.


You’ve seen darkness that

they can only imagine,

and you are hardened


from the admiration

of flirting gazes because

your heart is cold,


Frozen by bad maternity

and noncommittal



Their bad judgements burn

within your heart until

destroying misery


means destroying

everything you should love,

innocent or guilty,


and then it means

flash firing your future,

scarring your life upon ours,


like a victim of

Hiroshima’s bombs whose life

vanishes in an


instant, leaving only

a silhouette, burnt white

on blackened walls.



I’m still processing the recent murder/suicide of a former student.   The idea of an image being frozen in memory by tragedy called to mind the silhouettes created in Hiroshima when people’s shadoes were left, though their bodies were vaporized.  While at first glance a free verse, the poem has some form: each triplet stanza follows the haiku syllable count (17 syllables per stanza) to reiterate this idea.


Poem: You’re Dead (pt. 2) May 5, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:25 pm
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You’re dead.

My head

a   kharmic  muddle

I mull upon


your despair,

a pall

wrapped ’round


You’re dead.

(Still trying to wrap my head around the murder/suicide last week of a kid I knew and worried about).

Poem: You’re dead May 4, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:14 pm
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You’re dead.

You’ve bled

a carmine puddle

that pooled and

dripped down

the road,


under my door

and into

my head.


Trust time May 3, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:31 am
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It gets better.

Whatever pressure

is crushing you,

whatever frustrations

are tearing you apart,

will end.

Permanent solutions

to temporary problems

are a waste

of who you could be.

Don’t take drastic actions

when patience could prevail

and provide purpose

for the brilliant future

you deserve.

Whatever burdens you,

buries you,

bullies you,

will end.

Call for help

It’s here.

Hold hope in your hands.

Give your future a chance.

Trust time to release you

from pain,

not death.



In an exercise of hope, I wrote this in present tense, though it is a letter to a brilliant young man who once sat in my class room, and sadly did not trust time: so much potential, crushed by despair, frustration and anger.  I am mourning the loss of his shadowed light in our world.  It only needed time for it to shine brilliantly, but he did not wait to see.



out out brief candle March 14, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:17 pm
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Out, out brief candle

The spark of light

Is too difficult to handle

Beyond the might

Of simple mortals.

So much better to embark

through gleaming portals

into eternal dark.


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