Spoken Free Verse: Birds Do Not Fly

photo credit: Shannon Laws, Bellingham Bay, August 2017

As I recover from a concussion ( please visit my Go Fund Me to learn more ) I thought this week was a good time to explore the audio files I have accumulated on my phone over the year.  Often inspiration strikes when I am away from a pen and paper and I can’t type the words quick enough into a note.  Recording observations as RAW audio free verse poems are satisfying for me.  Background sounds are incorporated into the piece which, I think, adds to the impromptu performance.  Also, there is a desirable amount of light pressure to form a creative thought in one take.

The second offering is a moment of humble thought, recorded July 31, 2017.  Nature and man-made transportation seem to torture me as I take a break from work at the shore of Squalicum Beach Park.  Of course, science tells us exactly how bids and planes fly, regardless, I’m dumbfounded taking in their magnificence.  The sneaky looking two-person boat crew weaving around the inlet with a quiet motor at sunset, hang something to the pier perched on the opposite side of the inlet is an understandable event, although I do not know their intentions.

I recommend listening to the audio file while reading the poem.  I open Google links in Music Player for Google Drive.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ukdHKxn_s6ORBPyR-BtZMxryz-E7Afax

Birds Do Not Fly

By Shannon Laws

I don’t know how birds fly
I sit at the water’s edge
I watch them
land onto the water
float on the water
I watch them easily hop around
I don’t know how they fly

I have no idea

Just flapping of the wings,
tucking back the tail and feet
nose pointed out
The motion must be repetitive in their mind
without any thought
Except maybe an instinct when the air changes
when the wind gusts from the side
or the heat vent comes up from behind them up
and lifts them suddenly, ten twenty feet in the air
It’s probably no surprise anymore
if they even feel surprise

and I watch them
and I still just don’t know how they do it

The seagulls near the airport are just as much a mystery
as the airplane themselves
How do we get inside a tube and just fly
We just sit still and move hundreds of miles an hour
I don’t understand it

A boat goes by with a motor attached
to the back a little dingy
It’s expecting some sort of package
It’s hanging from a pier log
It could be drugs
maybe a crab pot, illegal
Maybe they just found a cool looking barnacle
or some muscles thought they’d take a chance

That I understand
I understand a boat
and I understand a train

there’s a track
there’s water
there’s a motor

but flying
I don’t understand it

I don’t understand why the sun doesn’t just fall on us
or why we don’t get sucked into it
why were not drawn to the heat of it
and the moon…
it just sits there and stares at me
just half of it anyways
the other half winks

It’s eight o clock at night and the moon is up
it’s the last day of July
there’s no snow on the mountains

I’m OK with not knowing everything

 

 

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Spoken Free Verse: Late for Overtime

Late for Overtime

by Shannon P. Laws

As I recover from a concussion ( please visit my Go Fund Me to learn more ) I thought this week was a good time to explore the audio files I have accumulated on my phone over the year.  Often inspiration strikes when I am away from a pen and paper and I can’t type the words quick enough into a note.  Recording observations as RAW audio free verse poems are satisfying for me.  Background sounds are incorporated into the piece which, I think, adds to the impromptu performance.  Also, there is a desirable amount of light pressure to form a creative thought in one take.

The first one I present, “Late for Overtime”, was recorded September 16, 2017.  I was working a double shift with a six-hour layover.  That looks like a swing shift 2:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. then work the morning shift, 5:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  I was waiting for a carpool to pick me up 4:30 a.m. at the same place they dropped me off the day before.  However, my ride was running late, so, I am late for overtime.  It was that warm September morning, on the corner of Larrabee and somewhere, when inspiration hit me upside the head.

BTW, I open the Google links in Music Player for Google Drive.  you can listen as you read if you want. Please let me know what you think.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=13_eoS1FBjViDN2yFSFBYuhOSWkaciG_d

 

I’m sitting on the curb on the corner of Larrabee
and some street I can’t see the sign for
It’s almost  5:30 in the morning and the sun
is just coming up over the cascades
Its paint brush is changing the sky from
a charcoal gray to a very, very dark blue
Fingernail moon is just misty just fuzzy,
right almost out of sight behind a thin layer of clouds

Cold rushes up over the hill
hits my back
It’s the evening
running
running west
Afraid of the light
afraid of the warmth
afraid of the sun
It’s always running
its always running west
away from the sun

The air was so still just a moment ago and now
after seeing that sliver of light over the hills
it picked up and it
rushes itself down the
ravine, towards the water
towards Bellingham Bay

It flosses the town in a silent scream

There’s sprinklers in the background and I’m wondering…
I’m wondering why I never sat on
a street corner
in my neighborhood
at 5;30 in the morning before

The sounds and the smells of the air
the change in the air—is refreshing!
It’s life!
It’s better than any season
because it happens every morning

The tall cedars dropping down with
their question mark branches
Look like a golden retriever’s tail
I know they’re hiding owls in there
Maybe they’re looking at me
watching me
wondering if I’ll scurry
across the street
turn in a mouse

At any moment the birds will wake up
The first bit of light will just hit the lids
of the sleeping birds
They’ll be the first to announce it—

It’s Saturday!

and Shannon is late for overtime at the mill

 

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Poem: Stout

Honshu, Japan earthquake tsunami, 2011

 

Stout

by Shannon Laws

 

The thick boned world stabs
at the ocean and moves it
Sea lifts its skirt of waves
crashes them to Earth’s shore

It was enough

It was enough to be stabbed
to relocate away from the familiar
deep lava vents that warmed
the current with breath of conversation

Sea ran to the Earth and lay on it
the soil looks away confused by
seaweed and floss turning in the sky
the life of saltwater raises skins coffin

The Earth is a son of a bitch
that pecks at us all, come hither it calls

Sea laid down its dress on mounds
dirt had no option but to devour

 

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2018 World Peace Poets

You’re invited…

 

“You can sign-up to read or sing your words on peace at worldpeacepoets@gmail.com   …We are very excited about this year’s line-up of international readers, but there’s still lots of room. Please send us an e-mail or call me so we can give you a time. I will send out the schedule on October 1, 2016.”  -Carla Shafer

Sign up today!

SeaFeast and Fisherpoets 2018

You’re invited…

SeaFeast Bellingham

So many activities happening this Friday and Saturday.  Visit the official website for the full schedule.  Come out and celebrate the rich fishing history of Bellingham, Washington!

www.bellinghamseafeast.com

I am proud to be a Fisherpoet for my third year.   Currently, I’m scheduled to read on the Honeymoon stage at 8:30 p.m.  Here is the full schedule:

 

FisherPoets-on-Bellingham Bay

Presented by Whatcom Community Foundation and Village Books
Friday, Sept. 21, 6:30-11 p.m.| $5 | Downtown Bellingham

FisherPoet entry button required: $5, available at Village Books through Sept. 19, or on-site at each venue. Space limited; seating first-come, first-served. Buttons not required for children under 12.

Celebrate Bellingham’s maritime sector through FisherPoet music, stories, poetry, artwork, and film at downtown venues  on Friday, Sept. 21:

  • 6:30 – 9 p.m. FisherPoets at Sylvia Center, Lucas Hicks Theatre – New 150-seat theater; refreshments available.
  • 6:30-8:45 p.m. FisherPoets at Sylvia Center, Studio – New 65-seat theater; refreshments available.
  • 6:30-11 p.m. FisherPoets at Boundary Bay Brewing – Brew room turns venue; beers on tap.
  • 7-10:30 FisherPoets at Honey Moon Mead & Cider – Cozy small meadery; food available. Please note that this venue is now 21+.

 

Poem: Arroyo Creek

Arroyo Creek Park, Sept 2018, photo credit, Shannon Laws

Arroyo Creek

by Shannon P. Laws

 

The death berries are still
The holly berries are hidden
The blackberries I grab by the handful
Bunches unprotected by spiders
not yet eaten by robins

Deeper I travel into this old growth grove
Lay my body down at these roots
of Lady Cedar, she accepts it
Forest floor fingers unknit my soul
Gulliver it down to the creek
I let them
take
me

 

 

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Interview: Into The Arts KPNW-DB

Click to listen to the KPNW “Into the Arts” interview
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1cvnhN–xZWiaQ5CvrYovce_EhjuOaIgh

After announcing that I was not returning to community radio production this fall, Jeannie Gilbert, station manager of KPNW-DB digital radio, invited me over to her studio to share my swan song.

In 2011 I woke up put a turtleneck on and was like, “I’m a freakin’ mess!” That same month I started volunteering at 102.3 KMRE SPARK Radio, broadcasting community radio out of the Museum of Electrical Invention, hoping community work would straighten me out. I used the moniker “Boosie” to hide from judgmental ex-in-laws, and *boom* history was made. This was the profile photo for my FB radio presence for seven years:

Boosie 2011-2018, RIP

Its 2018 and I must admit my life is better for the experience. Want to know more? Take me out for coffee or drinks and I’ll share all my secrets. Until then, keep it real…

“After seven years of producing radio programs, I have decided to say goodnight to this chapter in my life. Thank you KMRE, KZAX, and KPNW for supporting my work. Thank you all for listening, and a special thank you to the hundreds of guests who have lifted me up and inspired me and my listeners over the years.”
-Shannon Laws, producer/host Chickadee Productions

If you have any questions or want to listen to your favorite program offline please contact Shannon Laws on FB messenger or via her writer’s page.

Samples of Bellingham Art Beat and other programs have transferred over to her writer’s website located here: https://shannonplawswriter.com/

Thank you again for your support and stay beautiful Bellingham! ❤️

 

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Poem: Why I Can’t Have Good Things

Why I Can’t Have Good Things

By Shannon P. Laws

I overwatered my plant yesterday
The liquid flooded over my fail proof double-layered system
a concave plastic trivet atop a faded Christmas cookie plate
adopted decades ago at a bake sale from a forgotten charity

It was hot all this week and the dirt gave up its moisture
even in the darkest places
In my hurry to do good, I underestimated the effect
a deluge of water has on exhausted soil

I forgot all those moments that life tried
to teach me to go easy
Perhaps my lips remembered the effect
of a much-needed kiss the way a kiss
moves its way around down to the very tips of me
—and I let it pour
I let it pour and sit
and now warped wood wiggles
in protest over the zeal of a kiss

 

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Poem: Committed

A man experiences writer’s block in The Passion of Creation by Leonid Pasternak

 

Committed

By Shannon P. Laws

 

Glazed eyes search for the right word
It runs from you scared of
what you might do to it

A crowbar works at the hinge
Pats of butter melt under the skin
Bowl of round berries feeds flies
While

the smell of an idea
the breath of a book
hide under the bed

 

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