Shawn L. Bird

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

poem- traditions December 24, 2016

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:55 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Far from home,

surrounded by brown desert,

in a hotel room, alone,

a podcast plays the annual

Christmas Eve story

and the holiday arrives

despite the lack of snow,




or children.




CBC plays this beautiful Forsyth short story every year, and I always have a little tear over it.  The late Alan Maitland was a wonderful reader.


short listed! July 28, 2016

Filed under: Poetry,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 4:16 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Yay!  A short short story I wrote for a Writers’ Digest contest has been shortlisted to the Top 5.  How exciting!  Now the public can vote on their favourite.  The winner will be published in Writers’ Digest magazine.  I would so appreciate your support!  The stories are here: You don’t have enough points, sir.  I’m Entry B. (Think B for Bird 🙂 ) You just have cut and paste into their comments to vote. Easy peasy.  Please vote for me! Thanks!


heart pounding contest entering September 9, 2012

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:04 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

My heart is pounding as if I’d just been running a race.

Was I?


All I did was push “Send.”

I find it interesting, in a curiously analytical way, that one little finger drop, a quarter inch of movement, can cause such palpitations.

The last time I felt like this, I was dropping a manuscript into the mail.

And so I am again, I suppose.

A short story is off to a Big Contest.

Big as in:  Famous judges.  Serious cash.

This is the kind of contest that

has professionals entering:

the ‘in some circles rather famous’

kind of professionals.

I’m joining the game, and now begins the wait.

How close to their skill am I?

Will my entry wallow in the  ‘not quite there’ pile

or shine in the ‘consider this’ pile?

I’ve done all that I can do.

It’s gone,

and my heart pounds a tattoo of farewell.

Now we wait

to see which possibility



field of dreams August 21, 2011

Filed under: Commentary,narrative,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:01 am
Tags: , , ,

I’ve never responded to a short story prompt, but why not?  Here is something new for this blog!

An offering for the Short Story slam prompt:

My grandmother looked over the field of ripening grain and saw into her future.   She saw my grandfather driving his beat up ’46 Ford pick-up down the dusty road, saw six babies, saw  two funerals, four weddings, and then she saw me.

I was wailing in a cradle, waiting and wailing.  The house was filling with smoke.  She saw two more funerals.

On the day of the fire, my grandmother phoned my mother.  “You be careful, hon.”  Grandmother could feel the fire coming.

My mom, she told me later, had laughed dismissively.  “Yes, ma.”  She had set out the candles and was enjoying the twinkling.  She fell asleep on the couch.  Dad was in bed, gone to bed early because he was on the early shift the next day.  One candle had caught the drapes.  The house was engulfed in moments.

Grandmother felt the flames grab the fabric, and phoned.  When there was no answer, she called the fire department.  They didn’t ask how someone 400 miles away knew there was a fire.  They went.  They found me, waiting for them and wailing to tell them where I was.  My door was shut.  The master bedroom door was open.  Two more funerals.

And so I came to live with my Grandmother, and to look across the same fields, and to glance into my own distant future.

But that is another story.


Remembering Masks… July 16, 2011

Filed under: Friendship,Pondering — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:04 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Once upon a time, on this day in history a few days after I turned 13, I had a life changing conversation with a friend. He shared with me a short story he’d found called “Masks.” It was profound and the resulting conversation about honesty and being true to yourself left me in a cloud.

In fact, when I got home, people were afraid there had been a lot more than conversation going on, since I was so dazed and blissful.

I don’t remember the details of the story anymore, and I don’t remember the conversation either. What I remember is the attachment that came from listening and being heard. I remember the comfort of someone I admired spending time with me. I remember the sense of connection, fondness, and adoration.

It was still resonating enough at my graduation that 716 was the number on my grad t-shirt.

It still resonates enough that I’m writing this blog about it decades later.

So Happy Masks Anniversary. May you live your life unafraid to be yourself and to accept others as themselves. May you speak words of honesty with warmth.  May you be the kind of person who draws others to your sincerity and good humour.   May you be an inspiration that echoes through the decades.
PS. If you know the story “Masks,” which was apparently from a youth writing anthology published in the late 70s, I’d appreciate knowing about it.  I would love to read it again.


%d bloggers like this: