Shawn L. Bird

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

tanka- fire August 10, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 8:33 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Illuminated sky,

brazing forest surrounds us.

Pile life in the car

Ghostly rain of pine needles

That are powder at my touch.


This month is the tenth anniversary of the Okanagan Mountain Fire.  In 2003 this devastating fire surrounded the hills in Kelowna, led to the evacution of 27,000 people (including my parents). 239 buildings were destroyed.  As we were evacuating my parents, ash was falling from the sky.  When we looked into our boxes later, they had many grey pine needles in, but when I reached to pick them out, they dissolved.


12 Responses to “tanka- fire”

  1. Bastet Says:

    Very well done Tanka…what a terrible experience!

  2. simono1968 Says:

    Nature can be both cruel and beautiful, such destruction is a terrible thing, but, you are here to remember it, one small blessing in the grand scheme of things to be sure *hugs*

  3. Beautiful sparse illustration of what must have been a harrowing experience. Lovely imagery in ‘Ghostly rain of pine needles” Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. sheryl kay oder Says:

    You expressed this experience so well in such few words. It is as if we are experiencing it with you. I love the line “Pile life in the car.” It is well placed in the midst of the wonderful description.

    • Well… lol I was in the middle of a tanka workshop, and the premise was that the middle line should be a pivot point that responds to an event you describe in the first 2 lines, and leads to the defining moment revealed in the 5th line… Theoretically you can make separate poems with the first 3 lines, and the last 3 lines (the middle being repeated, obviously). You’ll have to decide if it works! 🙂

  5. What a terrible fire. We’ve had so many wildfires here in Southern California. I know OF them, but have never experienced one…the evacuating process must be a very frightening experience.

    • It was quite an amazing summer! The community all pulled together, the army was camping in the football field, fire fighters were everywhere, and the city emergency plan rolled out like a well oiled machine. It was scary and impressive.

  6. I am enjoying your poems! Nice to meet you! 🙂

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