Shawn L. Bird

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

poem-not Justin November 27, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:20 am
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Tall, dark, curly haired, and smiling wide,

he poses against the Coast Mountains with a beautiful girl.

“Wait. Is that Justin Trudeau?” someone asks.

No. My daughter isn’t dating the (married) Prime Minister.

The ocean sparkles beneath the blue sky,

tankers, container ships, and whales pass by.

Our Prime Minister lived and taught here.

Now he lives and works across the country.

West Coast leaves a vibe that makes an impression,

Freedom and justice look different from mountain tops.

The view is more expansive.

Young people make beginnings that may be auspicious

with time.

Perspective is everything.

 

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poem- hockey players November 23, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:28 pm
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One by one

the hockey players walked past

assorted young men in suits

older men in team jackets

family and friends trailing behind.

The Chicago Blackhawks lost to

the Vancouver Canucks tonight.

There was no celebration in the lobby

as they filed by.

Some people were excited,

but since I don’t watch hockey,

they didn’t impress me.

They were just well dressed young men,

less well dressed older men

and dejected friends and family,

hanging out in the hotel.

 

Monday Meme-Vancouver Lights November 25, 2013

Filed under: Monday Meme,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:13 am
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After a few weeks of hiatus, the Monday Meme is back!

This week I had the unexpected pleasure of an upgrade to a penthouse suite at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver.  It was stunning.  I thorough enjoyed stretching out in front of the huge picture window, and admiring the glorious view as I worked away on my writing projects.  The poem that this view inspired in me can be read in the link above. How about you?  How does this view inspire you?

Your assignment:

1. create a poem, story, or article based on this photo.

2. Post it on your blog.

3. Cut and paste the photo onto your post (leaving the Monday Meme text).

4. Put a link to your post in the comments to this post below so we can visit your blog.

I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with!  (I will leave a comment on your blog post itself, rather than posting in response to your link here).

MondayMeme2013-11-25Vancouverlights

 

poem- East Hastings August 30, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:32 pm
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From the bus window

we watched the people

sitting around the needle exchange

tarps arranged against rain

carts piled high

to match their owners’ mental states.

Someone’s sister, daughter, mother.

Someone’s brother, son, father

Too many someones

looking dark, dirty, and desperate.

They watched us on the bus

as we watched them

Each of us in our own cages

looking through our own bars.

.

.

Gordon Campbell.  This street didn’t look like this before your time.  You have a lot to answer for!

Here’s a good photo on this blog.

 

 

snippet of Grace Awakening Destiny November 17, 2012

I am brain numb today (still in recovery from our short week, and from  combing the internet for summer writing options in Provence into the wee hours last night).  As a result I can’t think of a thing to say.  In such a circumstance, sharing a snippet of the NaNoWriMo project on the go seems like a good solution, so here is something for your reading pleasure.  This is a first draft of Ben’s perspective on the infamous concert scene, set at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver:

.

It was my turn.

Kraft called my name and smiled at me from the podium.

I stepped onto the stage.

Kraft asked me about the inspiration for the song and I looked right through the blackness and into Grace’s eyes when I replied, “I wrote this piece as a celebration of the kind of love that can not be stopped by time, the kind of love that makes the universe worth inhabiting.”

The Bösendorfer grand piano gleamed in the stage lights like an ocean reflecting city lights.  I sat down on the bench, positioned my hands, and nodded at Kraft.  He nodded to the violins and marked the down beat.

My song told the story of my search for Grace.  The strings wept my loneliness and longing for her.  The flutes danced into the melody in little trills of hope, those moments when I thought she was near.  Then I struck the keys of the piano and told of her appearance in my life, her rejection, her tentative interest, her fearful denials.  I wound the music with my fears for her and my joy in her.  A flute played the recorder part from the picnic when she’d accepted her ancient wedding ring from me.  The woodwinds laughed with the joy of her acknowledgment of our love.  I set my hands on my lap as the percussion beat out the danger and the brass howled my frustration and pain.  Then I started playing again, pouring my hope and adoration through my fingers and out onto the strings of piano.  My love rolled out from the piano and filled the hall with dreams and hope, and then I hit the final chord and dropped my head onto my chest, emotionally exhausted.

Like they had been at the end of Jilly’s composition, the audience sat, silently.

I stood up and turned to the audience.  I kissed the tips of my fingers and extended my arm toward Grace.  Her love filled my mind.  I bowed to the still silent audience, as tears of grateful adoration clouded my vision.

Grace  leaned over the railing of the balcony, stretching out her arm as if she could reach me.  Tears were pouring down her face.

Suddenly, in a single tsunami wave, the audience rose to its feet and began to applaud.  Applaud and applaud.  It went on and on, clapping and clapping.

The announcer touched my arm and guided me to the other competitors.

I sat there as the audience continued to applaud.

The announcer stood waiting, trying to speak, but completely [overcome] by the crowd who were not ready yet to stop.

Wesford Kraft came over and shook my hand.

The announcer smiled at me in awkward acknowledgement and clapped his own hands.  He had me stand once more and bow, and finally the crowd gradually stopped and took their seats again.  He thanked the other contestants with a smile, told the crowd that the special long piece commissioned for tonight from the winner of last year’s competition would be performed after the intermission.  They would announce the winner of the this year’s competition afterwards.  He thanked Wesford Kraft for conducting and Kraft bowed to polite applause, and left the stage.

My heart was thudding so hard it was filling the room.

The house lights were turned back up and I glanced up to the Dress Circle.  Bright was beaming down at me.  Grace had disappeared.

I started up the aisle toward the lobby, people parted, smiling and thumping me on my back as I went.

In the lobby Grace flew at me in her flowing red dress like a shooting flame of longing.  She fired into my thoughts all her joy, excitement, and love.  I wrapped my arms around her and kissed her, devouring her presence greedily.

The world fell away as we collapsed into ourselves, hearts, heads, and hands consumed in the bliss of physical presence at long last.

Grace gasped for air and we pulled apart, staring into each other eyes, our minds full of the euphoria of togetherness.

I looked around and realized that a crowd had gathered around us, beaming in amusement.  I took half a step back, slightly embarrassed, and they applauded again with enthusiastic approval.  Grace buried her head in my shoulder and I laughed, hugging her tightly.

The lights flicked to send us back to our seats, and I pulled her along with me to the front row.  The others just grinned at us, and Jilly Tomm from Saskatchewan slid over one chair.

I was feeling very little appreciation for arm rests as we cuddled together when the lights went down.  I knew that in the overflow of stage lighting we would be silhouetted for the entire theatre to see, and so I tried to be circumspect, when all I wanted to do was throw her onto the ground and make wild, passionate love to her.  We hadn’t done that this life-time, and this truly wasn’t the place, but it didn’t stop me from wanting it.  I nestled down to kiss her neck, and she made tantalizing little noises.  They were an interesting cross between a squeak and a purr.  They didn’t help my composure.

The orchestra played its accompaniment to our blissful entwining of affection, adoration, euphoria, and lust.

.

NaNoWriMo report.

Day 17 words:  2570                    (November Total 27,515)

True confession.  I have changed my NaNo time zone to Midway Island.  That gives me three extra hours to write before NaNo closes down the day.  Since I tend to do my writing after midnight, this is a great help!

 

Pilgrimage to Fluevog Gastown October 27, 2012

I discovered Vancouver’s Fluevog shoes just in the last year or so, and ever since I have been developing a collection of gorgeous shoes.  Fluevogs are very well made, beautifully designed, unique and interesting shoes.  I’m discovering that there is definitely a Fluevogian attitude that celebrates creativity.  People who wear ‘Vogs are people I enjoy meeting.

I have purchased all my ‘Vogs online, either through www.fluevog.com or eBay, but I dreamed of the day that I would be able to make a pilgrimage to the flagship, original store in Gastown.

When I went to Surrey for SIWC2012, I took the opportunity.  I parked Sheila the Bug at the hotel, and took the bus and Skytrain into Gastown.  55 minutes X 2 trips in order to spend a few minutes in a store that had originally been a car park.  It’s all glass front and roof, and log slices artfully display the most brilliant shoes on the planet in the abundant natural light.

Red and purple Fluevog K2s

I had two shoe styles that I wanted to try on.  The first was  the new Elizabeths with the ball and claw heel that mimics Chippendale style furniture.  So cool!  Unfortunately, the Elizabeths rubbed in a bad place, so I will have to wait for future shoes coming out with this amazing heel.

The second shoes were the K2s.  I have worn similar shoes (in boring black) and had them until they fell apart. I know Oxfords are a great, every day style shoe for me.  The K2s were a perfect fit, soft leather, fun vibrant colour combination, great heel height, and eye-catching, as well.  My kind of shoe!  They were an easy, “Yes!” and into the lovely paper bag they went.

After my shoe purchase, I headed across the road to The Coffee Bar to have dinner with Citieguy Paul Schellenberg who is a local impresario.  Paul and I were Rotary Exchange students together years ago.  He went to Belgium when I went to Finland.  It’s been quite a few years, and it’s fun to see where we’ve taken the skills we developed as exchange students!  It turns out that The Coffee Bar is a favourite haunt of my son, who works for 49th Parallel Roasteries,  which supplies the coffee that is served there.  The cashier raved about how wonderful my son is, and  I told them to tell him that they’d met his mother. <g>  Nothing like embarrassing your kid, right?

The visit with Paul was all too short, because I had a big night ahead of me!  The lovely Fluevog paper bag dissolved on the way back to the hotel, in the humidity of  the miserable rain, but nothing could wash away my enthusiasm!  I put my new shoes onto my feet and headed off to Chapters at Strawberry Hill to meet authors JJ Lee, Michael Slade, CC Humphreys, Mary Balogh, Jack Whyte, and Diana Gabaldon.

Like the finance minister wearing new shoes to present a new budget, my new Fluevogs set the tone for a weekend of creativity, exhuberance, and promise.  I was introduced to a lot of wonderful people who had to stop to ask me about my various shoes.  I wore Fluevog Bellevue Pearl Harts to the 1920s dinner for perfect vintage style.  My Fluevog Ice Blue Macchiatos made the SIWC Facebook page, and at dinner one evening, I was asked to come meet a table of ladies all wearing unique Fluevog shoes. Author CC Humphreys complimented my shoes, and pointed out that he, too, was weaving ‘Vogs!  The people at SIWC are clearly MY PEOPLE! <g>

Of course, besides helping to meet amazing new people, the best thing about having distinctive shoes, is that whenever I wear these awesome K2s, I will remember that I was wearing them when I met my favourite author, Diana Gabaldon!  <g>  It will remind me of her writing advice and generous spirit.

Creative shoes.  Creative people.  Creative spirit.  Creative life.

 

THAT’S more like it! June 17, 2011

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:30 am
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Only hours after the riot in Vancouver, the citizens stood up to declare that they did not approve.   The rioters were not disappointed fans, as some are saying on the news reports that have spread around the world.  They were folks who deliberately wanted to cause trouble.  They came prepared for chaos, and they incited it. They no more represent the Canuck fans, than soccer hooligans represent theirs.  The regular citizens were as disgusted as the rest of the world, and they were mortified about the negative image that was represented by the obnoxious  participants. 

Those regular citizens showed up by the thousands this morning to help clean up.  They created a wall of messages declaring their feelings about the rioters and their embarrassment and their pride in the city. 

This is the real Vancouver: 

  • The people who tried to get between rioters and buildings to stop looting. 
  • The people who stood up for others and risked or suffered injury themselves. 
  • The people who came with gloves, brooms, shovels and garbage bags to clear up the mess.
  • The people who signed the boarded up windows of the Bay flagship store, with apologies, declarations of purpose, and hopeful encouragement

I wonder how many police corps could have dispersed so many people as calmly and with as little injury as the Vancouver Police and the RCMP did last night.  True, there was significant property damage, but there was very little personal injury.  The police kept their cool while being provoked, insulted and attacked.  I was totally impressed with them.

The rioters may have given the city a black eye, but the citizens have pulled together to show the true spirit of Vancouver.  Be proud people.

.

PS. Here’s the story from the Canucks point of view:

http://canucks.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=566199

 

 
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