Shae O'Brien grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and it has bred her to have a love for music, coffee, the ocean, and rain. Her love for writing was planted at a young age, with the encouragement of beautiful family and inspiring teachers, and grew into a passion she cannot go a day without. During the day, Shae is also an English teacher, promoting the art of the written word among the youth of Austin. Her writing has been featured in publications such as Off The Wookie, AIPF Di-verse-city Anthology 2012, and TWENTY: Poems In Memoriam. She recently self-published her first chapbook, "Truths Unspoken", which takes the reader on a poetic journey through the passion, love, heartbreak, and rebirth of a relationship. You may find her on any given night writing or performing her work around Austin, TX.

Please note that all poems and/or parts are the property of Shae O'Brien and should not be shared without giving due credit.

Thank you.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Do you like FOOTBALL?!

Thanks to my sisters at NFL Female, I have now begun contributing as a writer to a website dedicated to the women who love football! While many of you know me for my poetry, I do enjoy writing prose as well, and I hope you will take a moment to check out my article and leave a comment in response at:


 Should I write more prose? Would you like to read more? Let me know what you think!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Will a Dry Day Come?

I see you there

Standing in the rain

Dripping with regret

Searching between the drops

Breathless, choking

Desperate for an answer

As the storm rages on

Within you, around you

Washing all your hope away…

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Wake-Up Call to White Privilege

I was brought up with an air of entitlement. My mother taught me my rights. She encouraged me to question authority. From a young age I held a belief hat I deserved something--an answer, a polite response, a respectful tone.

If I didn't receive these things, I was brought up to fight for them. If someone stepped on me, it was because I chose to lay down. If someone treated me with disrespect, it was because I hadn't been clear about what was acceptable treatment to me. I could easily fix these mistakes made by others by fighting back--not physically, but through my words and example. Because I deserved better, and it was my responsibility to let them know that.

Now, my mother taught me how to treat others with respect, how to show them the same character I expected in return. However, after some thought and consideration now, I realize that my treatment of others did not dictate or correlate to the treatment I expected to receive--the treatment I believed I deserved. I did so because I was a good kid, but it did not change what I had a right to receive.

I used to believe everyone was brought up this way. If they were not, I assumed it was by some fault of their parents. After all, everyone should demand respect, answers, and acceptable treatment. The only thing stopping you from receiving it is YOU.

I was wrong.

The death of Trayvon Martin was a wake-up call to me, as a white person. Without going into specifics about the case itself, I found myself shocked beyond belief when George Zimmerman was found not guilty. In my mind, Zimmerman had followed Trayvon after being told to stop by dispatchers. He overstepped his bounds without any authority. Trayvon had every right to walk in his own neighborhood without explanation and to confront the person who dared to suggest otherwise. If it had been me, I would have expected an easy conviction, expected recognition of my right to self-defense, and demand that he face consequences for his actions. In my death, I would have expected my loved ones and society to expect and fight for the same.

However, my eyes were opened by the many responses I read, heard, and saw regarding Trayvon. I found many people in the black community talking about how he should have known better, been raised smarter, had more common sense. Statements were made that he should have known better than to be black, walking, in the dark. That he should have run home or simply laid on the ground, arms out, shouting "I am not armed!"

I have seen many responses from other races, though mostly people of the white community, saying he brought it upon himself by not running. That he assaulted Zimmerman. That Zimmerman had every right to follow Trayvon. That Trayvon was the one who acted illegally and Zimmerman was the one acting in "self-defense". They even made statements about how he should have been smarter and called 911, that this just should be more evidence that he was suspicious and deserved to be followed,  and that his confrontation with Zimmerman proved he was planning on doing something wrong.

While I can understand considering better possible choices Trayvon could have made, I was appalled that so many people placed blame on Trayvon, even to the point of assigning  him with a crime! This especially came as a shock to me since I know some of these people well enough to know that if it had been me they would have been outraged on my behalf. 

So, what's the difference?

The difference is that my race has been the "master" since the foundation of this country. The air of entitlement began with the belief that our slaves were less than us, that we owned them, that we had rights to them and over them. We wrote it in our laws, professed it in our churches, and showed it through our everyday actions. My mother taught me that I deserved the best because no one has ever dared to tell us that we don't.

The black community has a very different history. A history where their rights were taken from them, their names, their homes, their identity and worth. A history where they were disrespected, degraded, abused, and even killed, all while being told they earned their consequences. They were taught by our words, our hands, and our authority that the only way to survive was to put their head down, their hands up, and speak a soft "Yes sir."

And has it really changed so much today?

I think society's response to Trayvon's death answers that pretty clearly.

You see, my entitlement is a privilege. I don't have to worry when I walk down the street that someone will look at me funny or suspect me of a crime. I can wear a hoodie without concern that someone is going to associate me with a "thug life". I can question and even argue with authority without fear that they will abuse their power--or if they do, I will fight back with the expectation that my rights will be defended.

I wish I knew an answer. I wish I could take back the hatred and the history and give back the lives and respect. I do not blame the black mother for teaching her son how not to die. I blame the white mother who teaches her son how to hate as she locks her car doors when a black person walks by. I blame the white society that continues to put black people in their place with questions like: They got their half-black president, what right do they have to call "racism" now?

Did we not ask them the same when offering them their 40 acres and an ass? Why should they be satisfied with so little when we white people are taught to demand so much?

The truth of where we are now hurts me and angers me. We have so much more to do, so much further to grow, but until we (the white community) can admit that racism still exists and thrives, we cannot begin the conversation of how to fix it. The truth that most white people don't want to admit is this:

My badge is the color of my skin.

Your sentence is the color of yours.

It's time to change. It's been time for far too long.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Definition of White Privilege

My badge is the color of my skin. 

Your sentence is the color of yours. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Justice (Just Is)

Unarmed child followed
Badge not bestowed but gun sold
A Blood stained verdict. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

How Doth the Little Pony Neigh

How doth the little pony neigh
And trot and leap and stride
While wind and rain may weather her
She prances on with pride!

How doth the little pony lay
Among the rolling hills
And chat with fur and feathered things
The world's friend ever still!

Inspired by Lewis Carroll

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Blooming Bruises

Bullies bloom upright
Planted seeds of parents' hate
Buried as "beliefs"

Friday, April 19, 2013

Shadowed Thoughts (April 19, 2013)

The screen zooms in on a face of horror
A face of innocence
A voiceless mouth
Youthful skin
Shadowed thoughts
I know not where his loyalties lie
Allah, Al Qeida, older brother
Where you see a terrorist
I see a student
Where you see death
I see life without future
Had he entered my room
Would the boat be empty
Would the runners finish the race
Would the seam of tomorrow
Never be unstrung?

The heavy silence of unanswered questions
Weighs down the high hopes
Left hanging in my empty room.

I pray for life.

As always, I pray for life.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

AIPF Success, BookWoman, & the Next Book

After a long and incredible weekend, I am finally sitting down to say a big THANK YOU to AIPF and all the attendees who welcomed me with open arms (and ears!) as a Featured Poet for this year's festival. I loved the opportunity to share my writing, lead a workshop on poetry, and indulge in the beautiful words of others from across the globe. The feedback I have received so far has been awesome, including a fellow poet's response (in verse) to a poem I debuted at AIPF this year. You can see it here: http://flowerwords.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/i-had-to-stop/.

If you attended this weekend and had a chance to see me read or participate in my workshop, please feel free to comment on your experience as well! I truly appreciate getting to be a part of this festival year after year.

One of my favorite readings, and one I had the privilege of participating in this year, was the Woman Read at BookWoman. I was able to share my work, meet some truly wonderful women, and spend time with the owner of this incredible bookstore--Susan Post. To my great delight, Susan offered to sell my chapbook, Truths Unspoken, at BookWoman!

So, to all my local friends here in the central Texas area, please show BookWoman (www.ebookwoman.com) your gratitude and patronage by stopping by and purchasing Truths Unspoken today!

Finally, I have not stopped to take a break since the festival and am too inspired by it and you to slow down now. I have been considering my next book for sometime, and I plan to put dreams to action this year in writing my next book of poetry. So, please sign up on my website mailing list to receive the latest updates as I continue to grow, develop, and share my work with the world!

Write On!

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Next week is the Austin International Poetry Festival, and it is open to public! I promised to post my schedule of events for the festival, so here it is below. Of course I will be checking out as many other events as I can while not committed to the ones below. (The Youth Slam is always a favorite of mine!) You can find the full schedule for the festival at www.aipf.org. Please feel free to comment below which events you'll be attending or want to check out!


Thursday, April 11, 2013

7 pm – 10 pm Adult Anthology Launch at Huston-Tillotson University (D-L Auditorium) 1007 Chicon St. 78702. From I-35 take Chicon St. Turn left onto 11th St. Turn left on the first road into the Campus for parking (if it is not full).

Friday, April 12, 2013

3pm - 5pm City Reading at The Monkey's Nest, 5353 Burnet Road, Austin, TX

6:30 pm – 9:30 pm The Big Read at Crystal Auditorium/Nature's Treasures, 4103 N IH-35, Austin, TX, 78722

10 pm – 2 am Mad, Macabre & Mysterious Reading at Full English Cafe 2000 Southern Oaks Dr. 78745. Manchaca and Southern Oaks between Hwy. 71 and Stassney.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

(9:30 am – 11 am ACC offers free Poet Brunch at Austin Community College – Rio Grande Campus 1212 Rio Grande St. 78701. Building 3000 is at the corner of W. 13th St. and West Ave.)

9:30 am – 10:45 am Facilitate workshop on A Writing Activity to Combat Writer’s Block at
Austin Community College – Rio Grande Campus 1212 Rio Grande St. 78701. Building 3000 is at the corner of W. 13th St. and West Ave.)

1 pm – 4 pm Featured Poets & Special Guest Reading at Huston Tillotson University (D-L Auditorium) 1007 Chicon St. 78702. From I-35 take Chicon St. Turn left onto 11th St. Turn left on the first road into the Campus for parking (if it is not full).

7 pm – 9 pm The Woman Read at Book Woman 5501 N. Lamar Blvd. 78751. 1 1/2 block south of 2222.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

10 am – 12 noon Special Guest Poets’ Brunch at New World Deli 4101 Guadalupe St. 78751. 41st and Guadalupe. (Tickets are $12 at the registration desk-limited seating)

5 pm – 6 pm Membership Meeting at Kick Butt Coffee 5775 Airport Blvd. 78752. Just north of Airport Blvd. and Koenig Lane (Hwy 69).

Friday, March 8, 2013

My God is a Woman

My God is a woman.
She is a mysterious beauty
Who men seek to own and control.
They rape the very womb
From which she birthed them
By their violent wars
While calling out her name.

My God is a mother.
She feeds the world her love
Through the milk of her breast.
And though she weeps tears
Upon their silent thankless lives
She never ceases to give them
The nutrition they need to carry on.

My God is a wife.
She prepares a home of comfort
While awaiting their return.
As they seek out that which benefits
Their own fantasies and desires
They need only to come home
To find that which makes them content.

I am my God's daughter.
Between my legs holds her beauty.
Within my breast carries her love.
Through my hands I offer her provisions.
Man may seek to control and to own me.
But they will fail as they have failed before.
For I am my God's daughter.
My name is not fit for their lips.
My soul cannot be chained.
My words will not be silenced.

My God lives. And so shall I.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Sleigh bells echo oft--
Presents gather dust below
A newly placed urn.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Featured Poet at Austin International Poetry Festival 2013

I am honored and excited to announce that I have been chosen as a Featured Poet at this year's Austin International Poetry Festival. As a featured poet, I will be leading a workshop on poetry techniques, reading at various venues, and will be featured in the AIPF Di-Verse-City 2013 Anthology.

This festival gave me the courage to first share my poetry with the public in 2009, and I am very humbled to now be representing this festival for the incredible city of Austin.The festival is April 11th-14th and includes a line-up of enthralling talent, a variety of educational workshops, entertaining readings, and social activities where you can meet fellow writers, editors, publishers, and more. You don't want to miss out!

For those of you interested in attending this awesome festival, you can find more information and register at www.aipf.org. Also, make sure to follow me and sign up for email updates, and I will post more details as they are finalized. I will be selling copies of my chapbook, Truths Unspoken, and would love to see you there. Thank you all for your support--as long as you keep reading, I will keep writing!

Write on!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My Dearest Child

I lost you once
In a black spot on a screen,
In dark blood and clots of tissue,
In the somber apologies of loved ones.

They said it wasn't meant to be,
They said God had a plan,
They said you were my angel looking down,
They said I gave you all the love you needed.

My dearest child,
They were so very wrong.

Nobody meant to lose you,
God never planned for me to have to say goodbye.
I don't need another angel above,
You don't need wings to fly.
I've got so much more love to give--
And it all belongs to you.

I'm sorry your first form missed the mark.
I'm sorry it wasn't worthy of carrying such a blessing.
But my dearest child,
Rest in God's gentle arms,
Sleep in the cradle of His love,
Listen to the angels' lullabies,
And wait...

For we are not done yet.

We will make you a stronger cocoon,
God will weave your beautiful soul into it,
And when the time is right you'll fly
Straight into our arms
As it is meant to be.

We are meant to be.

I've got so much more love to give.

It all belongs to you.