Mynah Observed

Watching her hop along the asphalt,
I remark to him how awkward she looks
chugging along, no arms to propel,
out of her element (and I can so relate);

Then I think, and the words fairly burst
from my mouth, suspended between salmon
and cerise overtones, short
but bold interstices amidst deluges
of tropical day-long downpours,

“But she can fly!”
Great god almighty, she can FLY.
Version 3

23 thoughts on “Mynah Observed

    1. Absolutely. Still, it really was an Aha moment – each living organism on earth has its gifts and its challenges. But oh, to fly! I only very occasionally do that in dreams, and when it comes, I never want to awaken.

      Earthquake? What earthquake? I know there was one in Japan, for sure -a biggie. But nothing felt here, anyway. Funny though, we are in the midst of a fairly onerous (in scope more than fact) building project here at home, and have spent the past few days emptying an old metal-sided single-car garage in decrepit condition that Chris has been using as a workshop for the past 3-4 (?) years. It will have a new shop built on the old concrete slab, which upon inspection, we were reminded, got more than its share of shaking in the ’06 quake (epicenter here in our community). So we realized more repair to the slab would be needed, once we emptied the shop of too much clutter and debris (rats have had a field day these past few months). Thus we were Thinking of earthquakes, but none actually transpired, to my knowledge. Now you see all is not paradisiacal here, as it turns out! Heh-heh. Peace, Hariod, and thank you as ever for your kind words. ❤

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      1. I heard that in the pre-Buddhist Indus Valley region on Northern India, going back to c.3k B.C., birds were considered supernatural due to their ability to fly. Various specie of birds were attributed differing qualities:

        I read in The Guardian that the Japanese quake was felt on Hawaii – not so?

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      2. Thanks for the link – did read it. But doesn’t it make sense, as so many bird drawings in ancient cave sites from various cultures (Mayan, e.g.). And then there’s Quetzalcoatl … yes. Birds are amazing. So much we don’t collectively recognize about the gifts of ‘the least among us.’ I’m sure Paul Hanover would agree that dogs, for instance, often seem far more evolved than humans. Joke’s on us, so much of the time.

        As for the quake felt on Hawaii ISLAND particularly? It might have been felt on one or more of the other islands, but I haven’t seen anything about it on social media this morning, nor in the news. Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen though. Aloha, H ❤

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  1. Maybe I misunderstood the piece, and it said that the Japanese quake was measured on Hawaii, whilst I took that to mean it was felt. I’ve only ever been in a fairly mild earthquake of c. 6.4 up in San José, but that was enough to give me a taste for how strangely unsettling they and the aftershocks are on the body’s sense of equilibrium. o_O Were you there on the island during the ’06 quake?


    1. Ahh, that well could be. Hawaii is known for its observatories and all sorts of weather measuring devices. Earthquakes also, for sure. Sounds right. Chris and I were actually Not in our own community for the ’06 quake, funny enough. It’s not the first time that, while away, there was a big weather ‘event.’ The other time it was massive wildfires that came very close. We were clueless. Both times we had taken short vacations. For the quake, my daughter was housesitting. She called us, saying, “Mom. You neglected to mention the whole ‘earthquakes in Hawaii’ bit.” I guess it was pretty catastrophic, a loud, railroad-train kind of shaking that didn’t stop for quite awhile. As a result, several cases of PTSD, houses sliding off their foundations, FEMA intervention (gov’t relief agency). Believe that was 6.5. Japan is getting smacked, and it’s getting pretty dire down there. Our friend Gretel Ehrlich, a well known climate writer, traveled there just after the Fukushima event to write Facing the Wave. Pretty scary stuff. ❤

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  2. Awww. What a cute little poem! A little bird mustering all its might trying to lift off and fly, and it does 😊 It always starts with a first step, as you said we can stumble and it may not be all that graceful. But it’s all a part of learning and getting better.

    Tropical day long downpours? It sounds very wet over there and hope all is well.


    1. Haha, Mabel, I love how you interpret my poetry :). This was simply an observation, one of those mindful glimpses into the magnificence of creatures we share this amazing earth with. The Mynahs, like ravens and crows (in fact my husband calls them ‘the crows of Hawaii’), like to strut their stuff as well as fly. They can be quite comical, in fact. And some people have been known to cut their tongues to teach them to talk. (I haven’t the heart to cut a creature’s tongue, but there you go.)

      We Have had some serious monsoon-like downpours here lately. But that’s what we get for our winters. Sometimes wetter, sometimes dryer, but you’ll never hear me complain about the rain. Loving to grow things as I do, it is ever welcome. Since we endured the tail-end of a 9-year drought when we arrived in ’05, I’ll take the rain anyday over trying to get plants established with irrigation! Aloha, dear – enjoy your week! ❤ Thanks for always chiming in – you are appreciated.


      1. Nooo, some people cut the mynah’s tongues 😦 I hope the birds are okay in the end and don’t get too hurt. I am sure their sounds and singing are beautiful. I think all of us can be like a bird – trying our best to keep going up even when our wings aren’t strong enough, because one day we will be strong enough 🙂

        Good to hear that you are loving the wet weather. I have yet to get used to it. I really like warmth all round but love my some water to cool off ❤

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      2. I do think they survive the tongue cuts, who knows really, I haven’t met anyone who’s done it, so not sure.
        I like your bird sentiments 😉 Glad if this poem conjured some good visuals for you 😉
        Yes, I think our blood probably has something to do with it – my ancestors are from the British Isles, by and large, so I prefer it a bit on the cool side. Have a lovely day, Mabel! ❤

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  3. Wonderful poem Bela. I love how inspired you become about the nature around you. Makes me want to move to Hawaii. Especially with winter lurking ahead! 🙂

    You are like a female version of Benjamin Button in your Facebook pictures…you keep getting younger. 🙂 It must be that tropical sun. Now I definitely want to go to Hawaii. 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Swarn. Have been inspired by nature all my life long. Keeps me sane.

      You are too funny about Benjamin Button – ha! All in the lighting at my age 😉 And a year-round climate where we can grow much of our own food and be active year-round doesn’t hurt either 😉 As for the sun, ya gotta be careful there – I wear sunscreen religiously every single day, rain or shine. Otherwise I’d look like one of those dried apple doll people 😉

      Be sure and let me know if you’re ever on the Big Island! Aloha ❤

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  4. Hi Bela,
    Hopping mynahs are a fun to watch but their angry screeches can be quite irritating! They always remind me of that old childhood rhyme…one for sorrow, two for joy and whenever I saw one I would look for the second one to say – ‘two for joy’!! Usually the second one could be found nearby, wandering for food. I have never found them sweet probably because of the loud sounds they produce to call each other. Have you seen them respond to each other? They quickly get together and create their favorite music!! Ha! Ha…they do fly but I have always seen them hopping.
    By the way, your new profile pic is wow!

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    1. Aloha Balroop, and I do know what you mean about ‘angry screeches,’ though one can only assume emotional reactions in other species. I’ve seen certain Mynahs attack other Mynahs’ nests, for example – similar to crows (also supported by my husband’s reference) – and they scream and dive and pirouette and generally make a huge nuisance of themselves. But I’ve not observed that behavior in this particular home/location. They just make their little noises, louder or softer, and join all the other birds that come to bathe in the birdbath. They also hop around the yard, scratch their toenails on the metal roof while looking to drink out of the gutter, and so on. I’ve seen them fly plenty, yes – and they do their fair share of hopping, for sure. The one that prompted this poem was hopping across the highway, which I found interesting, as cars don’t generally scare them much – they’ll fly off when the cars get too close.

      Thanks for the compliment on the profile pic – both this and the last were taken by a friend in Ireland. The last one was in bright sunlight while hiking and the one you see now was taken indoors at high tea 😉 Now I can say I’ve ‘done that.’ Though likely never again! 😉 Take care. ❤

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