Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Baby Bird – Dedicated to Pakcik

The images I managed to record within those split seconds when the Mother Bird returned with what appeared to be an insect and the Baby Bird clamouring with beaks opened asking to be fed.

The Mother Bird flew away and then after about 15 mins came back again and this time it looked like a cherry in its beak. Baby Bird now stretched higher to get at the 'food'.


This is dedicated to Pakcik. Now I know how he had ‘pushed’ his wards, the students under his wings. They could not have had an even chance in regular schools but some notable ones turned out ‘gems’ at his ‘school’

Pakcik subtlely issued a challenge to them. A challenge is a form of 'subtle persuasion'. Sometimes it is extended by others and sometimes it is self-imposed. That’s how it did to me. It was a tall order. Pakcik in his blog, the al-Manar ( ) had featured a beautiful poem of ninotaziz. I was fascinated. It came in 3 languages in one poem. It was just great! Henchforth, I told Pakcik I would regularly look up ninotaziz because I liked it. There were exchanges of comments with Pakcik and he goaded me on ( subtlely ). I am to try myself engaging into one. He said it, and it even came with an incentive, five cents apiece!

My gosh, my big mouth, how can I get out of this. It is a tall order. I came across poems in school before, but ages ago. Not quite inclined towards them, anyway.

Somehow reading ninotaziz opened up a something in me. But I didn’t know where to start. Must you start with a story in mind, maybe a theme or what?

Yes, may be that. In that case, let's see. I remember a posting I did on June 01, 2010 ( see ‘Bird-watching – a new hobby? ) .

It was a unique encounter , a chance opportunity which may not happen again. It was about a little bird. Yes, why not turn prose into poetry. That I thought would make it easier, the structure is already there. Yes, why not.

Pakcik’s challenge was yesterday. I spent the whole of last night, right through early morning, bleary eyed and came up with my little ‘poem’ below. Please bear with me. This is a first effort, somewhat crude, short on vocab but, well, here goes!

The Baby Bird – Dedicated to Pakcik

What a stroke of good fortune
I’d not with such luck be blessed?
One morning , 2010, the 1st of June
A little baby bird stirred in a nest

Not unlike a flower in bloom
As on a silver platter it dropped
There in front of the living room
A drama unfurled, unrehearsed sans props

Our Indon helper had spied movements
She just couldn’t believe her eyes
In a nest that appeared unwittingly dormant
A baby bird suddenly comes alive

She rushed to tell me, ‘Bapak , ada burung!
A little amused , I thought she’d turned randy
But, lo! In all innocence, she wasn’t wrong
A baby bird right in front of my eyes to see.

My turn it is now to rush , and praying hard
From a vantage position behind the curtains, I hid
Still as the night, and stiff as the palace guard
I stood, camera at the ready, quietly for my first bid

Pray be, mother bird come back to roost to thy nest
I’m waiting, I’m waiting, had never been into bird-watching
But favour me, fly in, on your crown that upright crest
Just swoop in, pray be, my camera will be clicking

What do you know, my prayers were answered
Not once ,not twice but that many that I had hoped
‘twas click, click, click,click, was I flustered?
No, a better part of the hour, my patience aptly rewarded

Mother bird, swooped in, a tiny insect in its beak
On a tiny branch it perched, just above the nest
Baby bird, neck stretching , beak wide open ever so quick
So hungry and impatient, it gobbled and chomped at nature’s best

I waited again the morning after hoping for more
Mother bird never did appear and true to form
Unlike the swallows that are faithfully back to Capistrano
The baby bird flew off a few days after never to return

Translation: ‘Sir, there’s a bird’


Al-Manar said...

Akhi Hank,

I asked for it
Now I have to pay for it
The five cents I promised, all of it.

Now that you have started you can no longer call a halt to it. The little bird must have grown big by now, somewhere. Follow it with more poems. The night’s work, almost sleepless, is well worth it. Rome was not built in one day, you said. The hidden talent is beginning to reveal itself. I can appreciate it but I honestly cannot do it. For a start I do not have the patience you have. That is why I have so such respect for that lady poet. She has a lot on hand going simultaneously.

Shall I give you another ten days for a second one? I do not mind losing another five cents for the pleasure of seeing the talent grow.

I thank you for your kind words.

kaykuala said...

Dear Pakcik,
This is by by far the longest comment you've extended to me. Thanks for the time. Now it's a taller order and it'll stay tall. How to strategise, that's the question. How to sustain some sort of momentum. What I wrote is crude and awkward, I know. Looks like I've no choice. I'll just have to carry on. No looking back. Good or bad, readily understood or otherwise. 10 days you say? Ok, Will try, wildo!

abdulhalimshah said...

Dear Hank,
I tried to access your blog with this topic at first but was not able to. Now you have come up with a beautiful poem. I thought only Capt Aziz have that talent, now you can easily beat him. Carry on, good lad!

kaykuala said...

Dear Hal,
Thanks buddy. I'm trying slowly.Its a bit of a struggle to post it. Now its ok.

ninotaziz said...

Dear Hank,
Wow, for a first attempt this is will learn to write faster once you get the hang of that you need not burn the midnight oil.

You have a good sense of rhyme, read your poetry aloud so that you can get the sense of rhythm.

ninotaziz said...

Oh, yes. And the reference to the swallows of Capistrano - lovely!

kaykuala said...

Dear Ms Ninotaziz,
It made my day. Thanks a lot Ma'am.
Salam and Rgds