Why I Write


Dad delighted in telling his KMC audiences
that the Hawaiians called that place “The Voices
of the Birds” and that it was now called—
unromantically—“Kilauea Military Camp.” Dad told
Hawaiian stories there on Tuesday and Saturday
nights. I grew up six miles away from KMC.


At work the second story plate glass window
withstood a bird strike and now features a nearly
perfect impression of a bird with wings outstretched,
primary and secondary feathers outlined in dust;
the image of riot only where the bird’s breast
hit glass. Some took pictures. I guessed pigeon.

We gazed at it stunned, in wonder: a sign, an apparition,

I wasn’t concerned about the window; windows can
be replaced. I was concerned for the pigeon. I reject
“it’s only a pigeon.” Someone said denizens of the night
had claimed the bird while it was on pavement, still
stunned; she had seen the remains of a small cook fire
in the alley along one side of the building the next morning.

Why I Write

I write because I am hopeful.

I write because I am a romantic.

I write to help right wrongs.

I write because it is what I have left,
because I have these stories to tell.

I write because I must.

I write because it is what I have
to give our world, we who survive.

I write because I want those without
voices to speak, tell their stories, and sing.
I write because I want those who are damaged
to heal, those without wings to reclaim flight and soar.
I write because voice and flight are sustenance.

Andrew Shattuck McBride
October 3, 2012
PaPoWriMo ~ 2012 *Day Eight Poem*

About Andrew Shattuck McBride

I am a writer, editor, writing coach, and consultant. I work in a variety of genres, including poetry, short stories, and creative non-fiction. I also have a couple of novels simmering on back burners. THANK YOU to Nan Macy of Village Books for taking this photo (June 2011).
This entry was posted in Activism, Andrew Shattuck McBride Writer, Art in Our Bellingham, Can We Talk?, Likeke R. McBride, Likeke R. McBride Memorial Foundation, Notes on the Literary Life, PaPoWriMo ~ 2012, Samples, Transformation. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Why I Write

  1. I dedicate this to my lovely poet friends Jennifer and Tsena.

    Blessings, Andy

  2. Pingback: Why I Write | Andrew S. McBride ~ Book and Writers' Coach

  3. I am honored by this dedication, Andy. Thank you.

    I love how this poem moves from “stories” to “wings” to “sustenance,” and how you braid them together lyrically.

  4. You are most welcome. I hope your back is OK.

    Thank you for this wonderful comment; I especially like “…lyrically.” It’s also about voices/voice. A major theme in our discussions over the past few months (especially since the TTW reading) has been “voice.” Thank you so much for helping me in developing my voice.

    Sincerely, and blessings, Andy

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