Shawn L. Bird

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

poem- obliviously December 14, 2016

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:38 am
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Max and Jenn were in our grade eight classes

and our grade nine classes,

but then, they were not.

Where are they? asked the teachers.

Whispers replied to one another in the back rows,

I saw them outside The Royal Anne.

They’re turning tricks.  Doing drugs.

We blinked at one another that our peers

would make such choices,

muttered, How terrible.

We slowed down our lives to peer into the

accident scene of their lives

from a safe distance,

but did any of us go downtown,

and offer them a different option?

.

.

.

This is a forty-year old memory.  Where are they now, I wonder?

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poem-dull April 25, 2016

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:23 am
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Your wits are dull

Your eyes are glazed

Your ambitions are low

You are dull

There is nowhere

for you to go.

 

poem-hopes and fears February 23, 2016

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 8:32 pm
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You know everything

at least you think you do

and constraints of adult expectations

are irritation to you.

So that older guy on social media

successfully calls you

offering freedom and attention

and you leave confidently,

but we fear your bravado

will crash into a predator

and send you cringing home

your security crushed

forever, by the wisdom gained

too late and too painfully.

 

poem-used to be January 5, 2016

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:11 am
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There they used to climb the hill

to escape their parents, and that was

a place of firsts.

First kisses.

First cigarettes.

First adventures.

If only all our hills were so full

of glorious promise.

.

.

.

Had a visit to the local museum with a class.  We learned all sorts of tidbits! 

 

poem- censored September 15, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:56 pm
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You do not believe in censorship

you say

and yet you sit there and complain that

I accept work with curses.  Work that is

about process, about drafting, about stretching.

I do not censor youthful voices

that may want to shout,

to try new language, new words.

We learn about audience and persona

and your child is allowed to stretch her wings

to try on new faces and expressions with me.

She is allowed to find her voice in my class room,

even if her voice

is louder than you like.

 

question- what is molestation? May 21, 2015

I just heard about celebrity big brother from 19 Kids and Counting Josh Duggar’s confession that when he was a young teen, he behaved inappropriately with younger females, that he underwent counselling, and while he’s sorry about it, he’s received his forgiveness and moved on.

The internet seems full of those who label him a molester and think he should have been sent to jail.  I am somewhat confused by this response, because to my mind, a young teen, awash in hormones he doesn’t know how to deal with, is a boy in need of good counsel, frank conversation, and restorative justice, not a boy who needs to be tossed into jail.

I don’t know the details of Josh’s case, but then neither do those commenting all over the internet, so let’s keep this theoretical:

Facts: Young teen brains are not developed, therefore, impulse control is undeveloped. Pubescent hormones impact judgment.

I have to say that I think this kind of scenario speaks more loudly for the needs of young people to have thorough sex education- including not just the biology of their changing bodies but frank discussion regarding sexual autonomy and gratification.  Those of us who remember the wildly fluctuating passions of our first crushes need to remember that this is all extremely complex and confusing for 13 and 14 year old kids.  Media is assaulting them with messages about what sexuality means, their families and faith communities may have contradictory views.  How much did you discuss this stuff with your parents?  How much do you discuss with your kids?  I think our kids from toddlerhood need to know what is okay touching.  They need to know that they have autonomy over their bodies and that they should keep their hands off other people’s bodies.  But if they don’t, what should happen?

So here’s my question, with respect to pubescent youth– What is assault?  What is abuse?  What is mutual curiosity? What is counselor worthy and what is criminal?   Are there age lines?  Intent lines?  Subjugation lines?  What do you think is appropriate?  How would you want your son dealt with if he confessed to touching younger girls?

What is criminal responsibility for kids?

In the interest of disclosure, I am married to a youth probation officer who deals with this every day.  There definitely can be psychopathic rapists at 14, but they are a rare commodity.  Let’s concentrate on average kids.

 

poem-then love April 29, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 8:24 am
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I told you

I’d love you forever

You told me you loved me

and we’d be friends forever.

I meant every deluded nuance.

You figured optimism works out

but you also said you couldn’t answer

to what would happen if I snuck into your room

and you woke to my face hovering above you.

That intriguing notion made me giggle at the joke.

But you kept your door locked, just in case.

Did you hear the door knob rattle?

Then the plane took off,

without me hiding in your luggage

as you’d suggested I could.

Our next phone call clarified

the kindness of lies.

and the length reality stretches

to cling to an illusion.

I’ve been grateful for

the elasticity of spurious delusion

every day of my life.

I craft my reality in my imagination:

You are whoever I make you to be.

Do I cover you with armour?

Compel piano mastery?

Some loves last through time:

mythical love need not be mocked.

What you hear, is never what truly was.

It’s what was crafted to tell the tale that needed to be told.

You are a character in the love story,

and I can always kill you off in

literary impunity.

.

Shape poem of a chess piece.  Clear?  Metaphor of the game.  Get it?

 

 
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