Shawn L. Bird

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

poem-I came into myself November 4, 2020

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:03 pm
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After forty
came freedom.
No one relying on me
My dreams became
Embracing fun and beauty:
Shoes that make me dance
VW Bug that makes me laugh.
Writing stories and poetry,
then releasing them to readers.
Studying for that masters degree.
No one to stop me reaching.
No tethers constraining me.
After forty
became reality.


poem-birth July 6, 2016

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:00 pm
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The day of birth

contemplation of what’s behind,

what’s ahead.

What is desired

What will not be

What is hope

What is reality

The ruminations that bring joy

and not a little



Poem- babies April 17, 2016

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:47 am
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Twenty-nine years ago today

I held a baby in my arms,

after 9 months of nurturing her

under my heart.  Reading everything on

growing the best baby, checking off the nutritional

requirements every day,

doing my best to be the best mom.

Dreaming about her future, who she might be.

Today, I hold a baby in my lap,

a black ball of fluff that wags its tail at me.

I studied its pedigree and now,

I watch training videos and imagine the fun we’ll have.

I might be a better puppy mommy?

We’ll see.






poem-bongo birthday July 7, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:50 am
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I want bongos for my birthday

beat beat beat

Oh I want them in the worst way

beat beat beat

Listen to the poets

go at the words

Have you heard their thoughts curled



about their heads?

Those poets glow, man

beat beat beat

I wanna go find some bongos, man

Find the beat

fire the heat

be complete with the time, the rhyme,

Oh so sublime

beat beat beat

Bongos, man.




(My birthday was this week.  I did NOT get bongos.  Boo hoo.)

(Or a beret or tight black pants, though that’s probably for the best).


Centenarian! October 11, 2014

Filed under: anecdotes,Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 8:18 pm
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Dad’s 93rd birthday

My father’s 100th birthday is being celebrated at our Thanksgiving Dinner tomorrow, though there are still 2 weeks until the official day.  (Yes, I was a late in life baby). 🙂

Dad was born in Montreal in 1914.  He had two older brothers, but he was the only one to survive to adulthood.  He remembers the soldiers returning from World War One.  He was run over by a (new!) Model T Ford when he was 3.  He was an active member of Boy Scouts and saw Lord and Lady Baden-Powell when they visited North America in 1935.

He worked for Burroughs-Wellcome Pharmaceuticals in the 30s. During WW2, he tried to enlist, but they refused him, because the doctor heard a heart murmur.  He built aircraft at Fairchilds in Longueuil, instead.  In the 50s, he and a friend came to Vancouver and started Maco Industries, a building supply wholesaler.  For the next forty years he worked for them, retiring finally around 70.

He was married twice.  He had 3 adopted sons with his first wife who had tuberculosis and couldn’t have children.  His second wife brought 3  children into the marriage, they had one biological child (me!).

He was an avid tennis player and table tennis player.  He was playing tennis into his 70s.  He was still playing table tennis when legally blind, into his 80s.  He couldn’t see the ball, but he could see the shape of his opponent’s paddle, and knew where the ball would be.  He walked several kilometers each day until his 90s.

Dad never passes a children’s drink stand without buying a cup.

For entertainment at his party tomorrow, I’m looking for questions for an Ask a Centenarian! event.

Here’s your chance.  Leave a question in the comments, and we’ll ask him.  If technology allows, we may even film him responding to your questions.  If there are quite a few, I’ll keep asking over the next few weeks during the season of his birthday festivities.

So– what would you like to ask?



poem-circles July 6, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:02 am
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one quarter century

one half century

one century

blood linked


a circle

of life.




Happy birthday to me, in a rather auspicious year in our family.


poem- weak longevity August 24, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:34 am
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My father age twenty-five.

his desires divided,

stood in line with naked men

waiting for the army to welcome them.

They listened to his slow, weak heart,

and said he’d stay home to do his part.

My father age twenty-five

managed to stay alive.

While his friends went off to foreign shores,

at home he built bombers for the war.

His friends returned broken and stayed,

with their damaged mates from their brigades.

Dad was whole and grieved the loss

of friendships torn by life or death.

On the decades rolled

and now each soul

who stood entwined within that line

is gone, save dad, whose slow, frail heart

turned out to be his strongest part.

Dad thinks back upon that line,

and celebrates birthday ninety-nine.


birthday thoughts July 6, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:52 am
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Today I am half my father’s age.

We creep toward century and half century

No one believes either of us.

Thanks for those genes.

My body is rebelling

against my good nature.

There is a pain in my foot

new since yesterday.

I have no tolerance

for such nonsense.

Beautiful shoes

are essential to life!

Fighting the act of

stubborn hormonal

belly fat with half rations and

gym trips.  Getting stronger

but the scale remains


A celebration

is in order.

There are no

crinkles or wrinkles yet.

If my hair is grey,

it’s also blue, fuchsia,

and purple.

The nose I hate

sports a jewel.

Celebrate what you dislike,

turn it around.

Find diamond in coal.

Time to photograph

the evidence.

This is me.

Last year before

a half century pivots.

Dad’s second half was better

than the first.

All I dreamed is coming true.

My second half century

will be euphoric!



I have a photo shoot arranged for today for some new author photos.  I’ll post the results when they’re in.

July 13- click MEDIA KIT and ABOUT SHAWN for some of the shots.  A very talented photographer!


Will’s birthday triolet April 23, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:59 pm
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Oh Will! Today it’s your birthday

(And sadly, also when you died).

Tradition says so anyway.

Oh Will! Today it’s your birthday,

and when my students sang, they sighed.

They hate to study poems and plays

Dear Will! Today it’s your birthday.

(And sadly, also when you died).


A triolet.  Set rhyme scheme, with repeating lines, in iambic tetrameter. Happy Birthday William Shakespeare  April 23, 1564 to April 23, 1616. 


Today I’m 21 July 6, 2010

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:47 am
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To keep the heart unwrinkled, to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful, reverent -that is to triumph over old age.
– Thomas Bailey Aldrich

It is my birthday. Today I am 21.  Again. I’ve been 21 quite a few times. I’ve also been 29 and 35. I’ve been older, too, but not often. Age depends on attitude more than number. A cheerful, fun loving way of enjoying life keeps us youthful.  Today I’m full of all the things that 21 has always been for me: Joyful. Full of anticipation for opportunities unfolding ahead.  Appreciative of the wonderful people in my life. Thankful an amazing year just past.

In New Moon, Jacob tells Bella, “Age is just a number, baby.” He’s right. One can re-define the parameters for new numbers. Is my dog 10? Or 70? Or some other age? My mom is 80, but apparently she is far too young to go to activities at the Seniors’ Centre, because “those are for old people.” Contrarily, I attend a lot of activities where I am the youngest person there. I’m frequently the youngest person in my Rotary Club, for example. I am often the only woman with natural hair, though.

J.. P. Senn advised, “Let us respect gray hairs, especially our own.” I couldn’t agree more. I was 35 and completely ‘platinum blonde’ on top when I chose to embrace the natural look rather than continuing with society’s pressure to spend a fortune to colour my hair every couple of weeks I figure I’ve saved well over a thousand dollars in home colour kits since I did. (I’ve spent it in jewelery, another natural adornment for a woman!) It was fascinating to be in Italy and to not see a single Italian feminine grey head in two weeks. Black hair everywhere, and to be honest, not too many touch up lines in evidence, so they were obviously really diligent about it. Our society is afraid to accept change. Grey hair is assumed to suggest incapacity, lack of virility, and nostalgia. What happened to wisdom, experience, knowledge?

Is it ironic that my students think that I bleach my hair this colour, because they don’t think it can possibly be natural? They’ve so rarely seen naturally silver hair that they don’t understand that it can occur on a youthful face. No wrinkles, but silver hair. How old is she? Is she 50? 40? 30?

Today, I’m 21 and there’s a splash of pink in my hair.  Who says I don’t colour my hair?


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