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Most of these were written as readings between musical selections at Inversion concerts over the last several years. I'll add more as I find them, but I'm terrible about storing my poetry anywhere I can find it.

I wrote the following trio years apart, but in my mind they were always a set. One of my composition students has since set "Venus" to music for choir.


Three Reflections on Our Place in the Universe:


There's no greater joy I can imagine

Than to travel to every satellite

And touch those rocky and ice covered moons

Erupting Io, frozen Europa

I’d hope to reveal where life is harbored

How thrilling to know we’re not alone

No longer unique or significant

But made the better by enlightenment

(c)2017 Trevor F. Shaw. All rights reserved.


As I behold you, radiant in the sky

Dancing at sundown, adorning the dawn

From where I’m looking, there is no mistake

You are a goddess, and I am in awe


Though cloudy and white to our eyes on Earth,

We dare not touch you, nor merely go near

Beneath that façade lies a hostile world –

Rivers of fire and unbreathable air


So, you remind me that I am mortal

How can I fathom a goddess’s home?

Admiring afar, Jupiter’s daughter,

Your complexity and elegant glow


Deity of love, you’re awkwardly shy

But much like a star, you send me your light

(c)2022 Trevor F. Shaw. All rights reserved.


Gazing heavenward with renewed wonder,

Appreciating the stars through a lens –

Dots surrounded by alien worlds.

Are we audacious enough to believe

That somehow we are the lords of it all?

We’re merely the heirs of ambitious fish

Who left the waters to hunt on dry land

What would aliens think about humans?

Would they be amused by our divisions?

Should we seem more than insignificant,

How would they judge us – by our very best,

By our scientists and philosophers,

Or the worst of us, our TV preachers?

Surely they’d pity our anger and hate.

(c)2021 Trevor F. Shaw. All rights reserved.

This next one has a very similar theme as the "Three Reflections...", but was written independently for use as text for a choral piece. I found alternative lyrics that drew a melody from my brain more efficiently, so I like to pretend that "A Community of Atoms" is my lost choral masterpiece. LOL, as they say...

A Community of Atoms

From stardust we’ve been formed

Each a descendant

Of the same absurd event before time

A community of atoms

Connecting us to worlds unknown

For if we share the same beginning

The same moment

When something was born of nothing

All life must be part of our family

The planets and all distant beings

Are us and we are them

But as the soul makes us each unique

It threads us all together

It is the soul that will survive

Beyond the simple lives we know

So, let us dance, and sing, and love

Knowing that we’re never alone

(c)2023 Trevor F. Shaw. All rights reserved.

The next poem was used as a reading at Inversion's "Through the Prism" concert in late 2021, our first live performance after the covid shutdown. Like many of the poems I write, this is a non-rhyming sonnet.


Looking Through a Prism

Prism, altering my perspective,

Raising my eyelids to take in more light,

Spectrum of colors, diverse opinions,

Is it possible to look beyond the

Simple emotions, visceral rawness,

To see another’s stance as well-meaning?

My lines in the sand are conviction-drawn.

How can I get past the prejudices

I find abhorrent? Please, tell me, Prism!

Why must I alone show basic respect,

When it’s not even appreciated?

Should I share a post to express contempt,

Or a righteous meme that mocks vain falsehoods?

Maybe we’ll spiral t’wards another year.

(c)2021 Trevor F. Shaw. All rights reserved.


Fire Sonnet

Marvelous fire creates and destroys –
Burns and immolates with indifference
Murders the forest while it clears the brush
Leaves scars on our hands and singes our hearts
Yet, within fire grows the light of love
The spark which we find inspirational
Isn’t all life born from acts of passion?
A super nova – violent, awesome
Spews out the essence of new stars and worlds
Dare we defy it, this vital fuel
Which has neutralized the blindness of night,
Or seek in our souls the life-giving burn,
Ever embracing its radiant glow?

(c)2019 Trevor F. Shaw. All rights reserved.

The next two selections are both about animals, but their only other connection is that I used a rhyme scheme, a rare occurrence for me. The first has never been set to music. "A Moment with a Bumblebee", however, was written specifically to be used by my partner, Carol, as the text for one of her choral compositions.

Why are no mammals blue?

I could not help but ask myself,

while walking through the zoo,

and seeing peacocks, frogs, and skinks,

why are no mammals blue?

Was it a choice of God on high,

that made this trait a rule?

For blues are in abundance

for those who swim in schools.

In desperation, human brains

invent the blues we crave.

The blue in heelers and Maine coons

are merely shades of grays.

Just imagine, if you will,

an aqua kangaroo,

a tiger rich with cobalt fur,

or cerulean gnu.

Perhaps a scientist could say

why mammals were deprived,

aside from those whose genes bestowed

their faces with blue eyes.

Blue is such a lovely hue,

and scattered everywhere,

but humans must be satisfied

to put it in our hair.

(c)2019 Trevor F. Shaw. All rights reserved.

A Moment with a Bumblebee

My flowered shirt attracts your gaze,

So, you approach with bumbly ways.

Gentle Bombus on my hand,

I hear you buzzing as you land.

With comic bulk and wings so small,

How can you help to save us all?

You’re unassuming, fuzzy, kind,

With only pollen on your mind.

You seek a world which may be gone,

Rife with borage and bee balm.

Forgive us for our apathy,

Precious, golden bumblebee.

Eternally we owe a debt

To those who pollenate, and yet

We dedicate few words or tears

As your dear species disappears.

I’m no flower, our visit’s over.

Go bask in lavender and clover.

Each day I’ll spare at least a thought

For how much you improve our lot.

(c)2022 Trevor F. Shaw. All rights reserved.

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