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.


poem- at last April 12, 2018

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:13 am
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At last

you are shedding the neutral grey and white,

wrapping yourself in a green gown,

sparkling with iridescent dew

tumbling like velvet

into a glassy pool

still ice cold,

quivering on the brink.

Hear the promise:

morning chorus, finches singing

their hopeful hearts to spring.


#haibun (I hope!) for #NaPoWriMo Day 12

I’ve never tried a haibun before.  I hope I’ve caught the sense of them.


poem-sun dreams August 20, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:51 pm
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Out the smallest window

verdant velvet valleys glisten green,

fold under blue grey hills

beneath a sky without a touch of cloud.

Today dew settles on leaves and reflects

the illumination of heaven.


A little Christmas view December 24, 2012

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:00 pm
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Under clear skies, we have a lovely view of Mount Ida and the Fly Hills from the living room.  At the moment, hills are obscured by low cloud, and snow blankets the neighbourhood.  It’s barely freezing, and the snow is perfect for construction of snow forts and snowmen

Happy Christmas Eve to all!



So, whatcha writin’ in that NaNoWriMo thing, anyway? November 6, 2012

Thought you might like to see what’s coming along.  Ben is now at University of Calgary with his friends Paul and Ryan.  (Craigie Hall is the music building). Grace is living in the Shuswap with her Auntie Bright.  If you’re new to the story, you should know that Grace and Ben are connected telepathically.  Ben is the earthly realm form of the demi-god Orpheus.  He’s narrating.


I was walking down a corridor in Craigie Hall when a stab of pain crashed into my head.  I staggered into the wall, and grabbed for support.

A girl rushed over to me, “Are you okay?”

I shook my head, gasping, and she guided me to a bench.  I dropped my head between my knees.  “I’ll be okay.  It’s fine.”  The pain wasn’t mine, it was reverberating from Grace.  She didn’t know yet how to completely control her side of our connection.  Her calls to me were generally hesitant and gentle.  I had to be fully open to catch her tentative yearnings in my direction.  This time, her anguish exploded with her full power.  Without any guards up against it, she had blown me over with the image that was filling her head: a girl with brightly coloured hair, twisted into dreadlocks in the hallway of her school.

“Grace!”  I shouted back into her mind.

“Everything is okay, Ben,” she thought in reply.

“Who was that?” or what was that?  It was something from the Other Realm, that was clear enough, but what was it doing in Grace’s new school?  Had they followed her and sent something evil to attack her there?  It was supposed to be safe there!

“I don’t know.  What are you worried about, Ben?”

“Nothing,” I spit out. I needed help.  Grace needed help.  Right now.  I’ll talk to you later.”

I pushed into the men’s washroom.  Thankfully it was empty.  I spun into the Other Realm igniting the room with light as I vanished.  In the flashing glow, I didn’t notice that someone had pushed through the door.

“Mars!” I shouted into the Other Realm.  “Where are you!” 

Alexandros sauntered out from the foggy gloom.  “He’s busy.”

“What do you mean busy?  He’s needed.  Something is wrong in the Shuswap.  Grace is in trouble.”

Xandros nodded, pursing his lips.  “Ah yes.  We figured that would happen.”

“What do you mean?” I snarled at him, nostrils flaring.  “You knew?”

“Calm down.  This is exactly why you make such a terrible guardian.  You lose all sense when there’s danger.   You have to be cool and cautious when there’s trouble.  You can’t go all wild and hysterical.”  He shook his head at me.

“Well, I’m not a guardian anymore, am I?  Mars is.  And he’s missing!”

Xandros punched me, hard in the bicep. 

I raised my fist to return a shot, but his guard was up, and he caught it easily in his fist.  “You’re such an idiot,” he said, holding my fist tightly in his.  “Where do you think Mars is?”

“What?”  I loosened the tension in my arm, and he let my fist go.  “Is he at Grace’s school?”

Xandros rolled his eyes.  “He’s doing his job, O.  Now it’s time for you to leave Grace in our hands.  You go back to Earth and do your job.  Go back to your nest of musicians and make pretty melodies.

I narrowed my eyes at him.

“He’s guarding her?”

He nodded.  “She’s in good hands.”

“Better than mine, you mean?”

He smirked.  “You said it, I didn’t.  Go on.  It’s under control.”

I studied his face.  He was an irritating, obnoxious ass, but he was reliable in a fight.  Between Mars and Alexandros, Grace was in better hands than she’d been when I was her guardian.  It just wasn’t easy to trust the girl I loved out of my sight, though.  Not when either of them would happily take her from me for themselves.

I nodded.  “All right then.  Thank you.”

I spun back into the washroom, narrowly missing landing with my foot in an unflushed toilet.  As I  stepped off the rim a voice greeted me.

“Are you going to tell me what the hell that’s about?”

I snapped my head to the speaker and sighed, “Hi, Paul.”

He raised an eyebrow.  “Hello.  Don’t change the subject.”

“Is there a subject?”

“Well, apparently my best friend can vanish in flashes of light and reappear in toilets like some kind of janitorial Superman.  I’d say that’s a pretty interesting subject.”

I swallowed.  “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain…” I intoned in a hypnotic voice, “You didn’t see anything…”

“Bullshit,” he said conversationally.


“We’ve been friends for what?  Four years?  We’ve been there for each other.  You help me out.  I help you out.  Never once did you ever mention that you had magical powers.”

“You believe in magical powers?  I could have sworn you were more sensible than that.  Do you believe in fairies, too?”

“Nope.  But I saw you come into this room.  When I opened the door, I saw that weird light.  You were glowing and then it…swallowed you.  You were no longer in the room.  I looked.  I even lifted up the lid on the damned toilet tank, Ben!  You were not here.  Then there’s another flash, and there you are, pulling your foot out of a toilet bowl like you were visiting the Ministry of Magic or something .  I know what I saw, bro.”  He crossed his arms across his chest and watched me.   His face showed confusion, irritation, and just a little bit of fear.  “You weren’t at the Ministry of Magic, were you?”

I sighed.  “I can’t explain, Paul.”

“Is it something to do with Grace?”

Wasn’t everything to do with Grace?  I took a deep breath.  “You have to trust me, Paul.  I can’t tell you anything about this.  It’s not safe for you to know anything.”

“So Ryan was right?  We are in danger around you?”

I shrugged my shoulders.  “I don’t know what the hell is going on here.  It makes no sense.  No one should be after me.  They’re still after Grace, that’s for certain.  You should be safe with me, but you might not be if you know everything.  Like who I am.”

He studied me, reading my eyes to see if I was lying to him.  “Who you are or what you are?”

I raised my hands is silent appeal.

Finally, he nodded, and unfolded his arms.  “We’re late for [ subject ] class.  Come on.”  He pushed open the door.


He nodded.  “We’ve been friends for four years, after all.  That’s got to be worth something.”

I smiled.  “It is.  I’ve never lied to you Paul.  I’m not starting now.”



NaNoWriMo total for day 6: 589  words (November total: 9013)


Are you going to NaNoWriMo? October 14, 2012

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:47 pm
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If you’re interested in joining me at an attempt at National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) November 2012, get in touch! They suggest a goal of 50,000 words in the month, but something is better than nothing! I’m at shawn (dot) bird (at) ymail (dot) com or you can leave a message here:


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. 😉


Whoo hoo! I won! May 30, 2010

How delightful to be a winner of the Shuswap Lake International Writers’ Festival Cheesy Suspense Quick Write Contest. 😀

These are a fun part of writing conferences. The committee prepares an opener, and participants can create a 80 word or less ending to the story in either prose or poetry.

OPENING: It is a wild and stormy night on Shuswap Lake. No one in their right mind should be out in this. Wait! What was that? A lightning flash caught a movement on the beach! Who, or what, could it be? Whatever it was seemed to be pulling something heavy towards the water. The next lightning flash showed only an empty beach. Maybe I should investigate…


The heavy thing splashes
Like manuscript ashes
While that thing on the beach
Is extending its reach.

In the storm a crowd gathers
And houseboat slosh lathers
The shore, when another bright flash
Shows the victim making a dash
From the whole Shuswap Watershed commission
wielding a thick anti- Smart Centre petition.

Who’s the guy fleeing the party?
I would swear it was Marty…

Apologies to those who are not local and are missing the humour! 😉 Marty is our mayor and voted for a WalMart Smart Centre to be built in a sensitive Watershed area. It’s a bit of a hot issue in the Shuswap these days! This entry should have won me a gift basket of gouda cheeses apparently. Unfortunately, since you had ‘to be present to accept your prize’ and I was having dinner with a publisher when they announced the winners, I get the accolades but not the yummy prize.    2nd place Brenda Melnachuk got to take home the cheese. Well, I may get a better prize out of a wonderful evening. We’ll just have to wait and see.


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