Shawn L. Bird

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

poem-last day June 24, 2021

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:53 am
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Just wisps of clouds dot the periwinkle sky

Faint breeze dancing among the leaves

Grads gathering, twelve at a time.

Four guests only. Strictly enforced by the

Ministry of Health. Bring five. Grad ends.

The tents in case of rain

Lake and hills in view.

Pandemic grads to walk across the grass

This graduation has so many things new

but something old:

Hand-shake in gown and cap.

Farewell, all our best wishes go with you.


haiku-water park July 24, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:53 pm
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At the water park

Small children dance and shake like

robins in puddles


Salmon Arm October 1, 2012

Filed under: Grace Awakening — Shawn L. Bird @ 8:27 am
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Here’s a nice video that shows you some of the scenery in Salmon Arm, the setting for Grace Awakening Power (and where we live, coincidentally).  How many places do you recognise from the book?




another day in paradise September 2, 2012

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 7:46 am
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Saturday was time for an overdue hike in Gleneden.  While that sounds like it should be in Scotland, in fact, Gleneden is a hilltop area to the west of Salmon Arm.  From downtown, it’s about 3 minutes to the turn off the highway, and 5 minutes from there to the trailhead. Last weekend, my Handsome Hubby and I attempted to find the Syphon Creek trail, but could not find the trail or the parking lot mentioned in the guide books.  With a little further research, we returned this weekend, and successfully found the spot, hiked in, and returned alive!

We were not long on the trail before I’d spotted a creature- some sort of lizard or salamander that HH had just obliviously walked over.  It was smooth like a snake, about a foot long tip to tail, reddish brown with no obvious stripes.   It gyrated away with an almost snake like movement, except for the definite little jolts made by what I presume were four tiny little feet.

Further in, we admired huge patches of wild raspberries, with little patches of fruit still on them. I picked a berry, and it popped off its stem like a velvet marble.  Completely dessicated, it was rather chewy, but flavourful.  A few steps on and the Handsome Hubby remarked that this many berries would make this prime bear area.  I had just had the same thought, and sure enough, a few feet farther along the trail I was able to point out bear scat.  Thankfully, it was not fresh, so we didn’t worry too much.

The trail wanders through a rocky area,  thick under brush, and over a stream.  We appreciated the pallet style bridge someone had made, as the skinny log alternative looked dubious.  I was definitely puffing, being pathetically out of shape, but HH (who cycles a few hundred kilometres each week) strolled along easily.  When we reached the waterfall,  HH took some photos of me and the other beautiful scenery, and I took some photos of him taking photos.

This would be a nice spot for a kilted photo shoot, don’t you think?  Even if it isn’t Scotland, despite being Gleneden.  (Taken with my iPhone)

HH climbed up the steep side of the waterfall, while I sat on a rock, below, wondering about emergency cell service, checking casually around for suitable branches to use as splints, and figuring out what supplies I’d brought that I could use to tie on a splint (FYI, a plastic grocery bag would be split into strips).    I was glad not to need to put my emergency planning into effect, especially when a few moments later, HH read the fine print on a warning sign that announced there had been an accident there, and to take caution.  (Upon our return home, HH read the above linked article telling of the 60 foot fall and rescue.  With classic understatement I heard him mutter, “Wow.  That would hurt.”)

This is Labour Day Weekend, the last one before the kids (and I) head back to school.  It’s taken us ALL summer to make time for a hike in our own back yard!  We live in such a beautiful place, we really have no excuse.  Well, HH’s excuse is that he’d rather be on a bike, pedalling his way to health, and my excuse is that I have writing to do, but lets be honest, those activities don’t fill entire days, ever.  Hopefully, next year we’ll be better at vacationing in our own area!

FYI this hike is labelled “More Difficult” (i.e. not ‘dead easy’).  It was about 20 minutes from the small parking lot to the waterfall at the end of the trail.  There are roots, felled trees, and large rocks to step over, between, and around.  It’s definitely not a trail to take your aged grandma on, nor to try to push a baby carriage.  However, if you’re reasonably fit, it’s a lovely hike, and it’s about 15 mins from my driveway to reach it!

What’s your favourite getaway spot near your  home?

I have hat hair and I’ve been panting. It is hard to look glamorous. 😉


latest press September 21, 2011

I was recently interviewed for the local paper.  I ended up being interviewed by phone, and the interviewer did not have opportunity prep by visiting the blog and reading up on what the book was about.  I tried to explain succinctly, but her questions led to complicated places.  Had I been writing the responses for her, I could have been quite clear on the facts.  As it was, paraphrases were just off enough to twist the meaning.  The resulting interview was basically accurate, but had a section that was significantly off what I thought I’d told her.

I learned something from this experience. The journalist will miss something critical in your longish story! Typing and listening simultaneously is difficult. I must remember the Keep It Simple principle!

Aside from actually getting my website address incorrect, the biggest problem was that she missed that I was actually quoting from the poem for a bit there, and she wrote a quote as if I was speaking.  

Specifically, the article says,

Based on a poem she wrote the year she turned 12, Bird says the book started as a story about the power of her first crush on a musician

 That part is fine but then this 

“I think in another life we were lovers and belonged together,” she says.

 is a paraphrase of the quote from the poem that I recited for her which included, “I think we were loves once. In another life you and and I belonged.”  Since it is not in the context of the poem, it gets a completely different slant.

“When you have one of these strong stories, you have to imagine it has been around in the universe before.”

must be a paraphrase of “I think a lot of people have the feeling when they fall in love that it’s so profound that it must have been in the universe forever.”

Regular readers of the blog who’ve read about the development of the story, the poetry, etc, will spot these issues right away.  Other people will just raise their eyebrows.  I was rather alarmed.

Yeah.  Like I said.  A learning experience.  Keep it Simple. Simple. Simple.  Phone interviews are apparently dangerous!

Live and learn.

PS. If you’re curious, the interview is here.



Jamila Mai at the Roots and Blues August 23, 2011

Some members of Jamila Mai performing at the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues

Jamila Mai Belly Dance of Salmon Arm offers classes for beginners and intermediate belly dancers of  all ages.  Classes run in three sessions a year: generally Sept to Dec, Jan to Mar, Mar to May at the Downtown Activity Centre (former Salmon Arm Elementary).

For details, contact Rachael  at two-five-zero-eight-three-three-nineteen-fifteen or email her at


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