Shawn L. Bird

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

poem-what’s falling July 29, 2021

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:12 pm
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In the porch light

ash is illuminated

specks of falling sky

pieces of evergreen needles

drop onto my arm

leave lines of black.

It hurts to breathe this grey air;

forests blazing hurt the heart.

Pray for rain, or better, snow.

(because, you know, snow

doesn’t bring lightning
or more fire).


disaster in Vernazza May 17, 2012

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:11 am
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A couple of years ago we went on a vacation to Italy.  We were only there a couple of weeks, but we were enchanted by each place we visited.  One of our favorites was Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy.  The Cinque Terre is made up of five towns that were formerly part of the kingdom of Genoa.  Four of the five hillside towns have little or no automobile traffic.  You can see why here!  The houses are connected by picturesque narrow alley ways and lots of stairs.

Vernazza was hit by a flash flood / landslide in October 2011.  We rented an apartment when we visited here.  It was in the building between the yellow and green ones.  Our window was the second one above the white arch being filled with mud.  This is an incredible video.  So much power.



This slideshow was created by tourists.  It is amazing.  One thing that I thought when I first saw the pictures of this event was how it explains the strange layering of streets that you see in some places in Italy, like Rome.  There is a disaster like this, and people effected just build on top of the rubble.  The street next door might be thirty feet lower.  That’s civilization in motion, at the mercy of nature.  As usual.


invocation after earthquake March 15, 2011

Filed under: Pondering,Rotary invocations — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:33 am
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The recent massive earthquake in Sendai Japan reminds us once again how fragile our society is.  Our strength does not lie in the cities we’ve built or our impressive transportation infrastructure.  One belch from a volcano or a shift the  Earth’s plates show us that everything we think is so impressive is quite tenuous.  Our strength lies in our bindings to one another, our willingness to serve, and our gratitude for the blessings of life itself.

(c) Shawn Bird 2011  Free use with Rotary.  Please credit Shawn when you share this in your club; as well, please leave a comment to let us know your club  and when you intend to use it.  With thanks.


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