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
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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.


laughing in Heaven April 26, 2011

Filed under: Pondering,Rotary — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:57 am
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If you listen on the wind, you will hear chuckling from Heaven. God is welcoming one of his favourite jokesters today.


It was about 1980 or 1981 when the very colourful Rev. Albert Baldeo arrived in Kelowna to pastor St. Paul’s United Church and fill its rafters with his booming laugh and his joyful Trinadadian accent. His humour was famous for diffusing the tension of serious moments at church, in conversation, or in community groups. I particularly remember at a wedding when the bridal couple stood before him, shaking in nervousness. He explained their names’ meanings and with a twinkle in his eye, made a booming comment dripping with sexual innuendo that had the whole sanctuary echoing with laughter. The couple visibly relaxed amid their embarrassed giggles.


After 30 years of serving the community, Baldeo passed away this last weekend after a battle with Parkinson’s.   Last week in his last column for the Kelowna Capital News he wrote, “My new destination is heaven, where there is no sickness, there is no Parkinson’s Disease, there are no hospitals…and there is no HST.”   A jester to the last.


People in Kelowna and members of Rotary District 5060 will remember him fondly. My condolences to his family, particularly daughter Kim who was the Okanagan Mission Rotary Club’s outbound exchange student the year after me.



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