Shawn L. Bird

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

poem-other places July 22, 2021

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:33 am
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the internet shows

there is rain elsewhere;

people celebrating

with summer fun.

it is not armaggedon

outside their windows;

no red sun an eery ball

in a tawny coloured sky,

no ashen needles settle

on sunflower leaves.

where they are

no threatening glow over the hill

disturbs their hope of sleep

while smoke kisses the suitcases

and bags stacked at the door,

for when the word comes.




Forest fire season in BC! In the last 5 years the summers have been getting consistently scarier. 4 of the 5 were horrible smokey years. While we’ve always had fires in the summer, generally it was rare to have one near communities and one bad fire summer would be followed by many fine years. I don’t remember my childhood in the Okanagan filled with smoke. But now it is the norm. Climate change sucks. A fire that started with a car accident about 38 hours ago is now a raging 800 hectare (~2000 blaze) only 25 km away from us. Very, very, very scary). Our bags are packed and we’re ready to load up if we are put on alert.


poem-letter from the war office November 25, 2020

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 8:19 am
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The first message is a head’s up.

Someone in the building has tested Covid positive and is off to quarantine.

“You will be contacted by an official in the health authority is there is potential that you were in contact with someone while they were contagious. Carry on until then.”

Potential: having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future.

You know, like how two people in a building have the potential to pass one another, greet one another, use the same facilities, sit in the same chairs, use the same keyboards, sit next to one another at lunch, even though you don’t know them and they don’t know you. You’d identify them how?

I think the more accurate message would be “You will be contacted by an official in the health authority is there is likelihood that you were in sustained contact with someone while they were contagious.”

Let’s be real. Potential is everywhere. Give us the hope of less likelihood!

Several hundred people wait in our masks with bated breath, wondering who will be the ‘lucky’ winner of a lottery worthy of Shirley Jackson.

Pandemic adventures as we attempt to surf the second wave.


poem- isolation moment April 21, 2020

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 7:58 pm
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Small dog,

heavy on my foot.

Scent of baking muffins

wafts down the hall.

Buzzer calls at last


poem- eager November 16, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:32 am
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I’m checking today


I checked yesterday

And the day before

And the day before that.

Each time,

I catch my breath,

before I click the key.




So far,

No news.


I’ll keep checking,

Until I





poem-waiting July 7, 2016

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:59 pm
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Dinner is ready

Waiting on the table.

Where is he?



poem-washing September 26, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:10 am
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The dishwasher hums with cyclical rhythm

and somewhere your feet are pumping at the same cadence

returning to me.

Water sloshes around the sealed box, cleaning,

and somewhere you are salty with wet, sipping Gater-aid

to get through kilometer eighty.

The kitchen dishes are washing

your pedals are turning

and I am waiting for your salty kisses.


poem-dance March 29, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:08 am
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The music echoes through her bones

throbbing heart beat,

quivering quavers,

filling feet with rhythm.

Eyes scanning for possibilities,

Whose arms will encircle her?

Will he be the one to enfold her,

entwine their bodies,

make her sway

under his percussion?

She watches and wonders,

Shall she dance?




(Inspired by Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez tonight)


poem- doorbell June 17, 2014

Sleeping in

enjoying dream embraces

of a book boyfriend when

the doorbell rings

with delivery of the next instalment

in the relationship.



poem- waiting for grey whales March 25, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 7:24 pm
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On shore watching

patiently waiting

for grey whales.

Scanning grey-blue sky

into grey-blue horizon

on grey-blue ocean

searching for a grey puff of breath

a fluke, sign of a whale amid the grey tipped waves.




Impatiently waiting for grey whales

in the blue-grey ocean

before the blue-grey horizon

under the blue-grey sky.




Waiting for grey whales

makes me



I’ve wanted to see whales since I read this book as a kid. 3rd trip to the coast during the grey whale migration, and still no sighting.


April 13, 2014.  Diana Gabaldon trivia:  Fred Phleger, author of the above book, was a professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography from 1951 to 1977.  Diana earned her MS in Marine Biology at Scripps in 1975.


the longest month September 12, 2010

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:06 am
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I’m starting to feel like I’m nine months pregnant.  The ninth month of pregnancy is the longest month.  You mothers out there will know what I mean.  When you get to a few weeks from your due date, people start calling you up to see if you’re still pregnant or whether you’ve got a baby in the cradle yet.   As you pass your due date (as I did every time) you get even more concerned calls.  All the affectionate interest begins to get a little wearing.  You want that baby out more than anyone else, and every well intentioned question emphasizes the delay.  You watch the days pass on the calendar and when the next person asks if you’re still baby-less, you want to scream, “I will ensure the whole planet knows once junior has arrived, please leave me alone to agonize in peace over this miserable delay!”

Welcome to my experience with publishing!  I hear I am not the only one who has discovered that those in the publishing industry have their own time vortex.  They say ‘2 weeks’ but that really means ‘2 months.’   They say  ‘soon’ when they really mean ‘later.’  I hope having named a month, they don’t mean the one NEXT year, since the one named has already passed.  

I once heard of a writer who was waiting to hear back from his agent.  Being used to long delays and poor communication, he just waited patiently.  He didn’t want to be an irritating pest, after all.  Eventually he wrote, and discovered his agent had been dead for a year already!  Oh dear.

It’s a waiting game, and I’m in the longest month.  Pretty soon I’m going to have those contracts in my hands and the adventure will be undeniable.

Or maybe I’ll be sending flowers to a  funeral.


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