Thursday, November 10, 2011


Image1: The mother bird perched on the branch  and the baby bird clamoring with beaks open

Image2: The mother bird came back again this time with what looked like  a cherry

Note: We're to pick a prose and then convert it into poetry. I decided to re-post 2 postings on how I came about writing my first poetry from my own prose.

Process Notes
This is an actual drama which happened in front of my eyes. I had it posted as a prose on June 01,2010 (here) Sometime in Oct, I was encouraged to go into poetry by 2 wonderful bloggers (Ninot and Pak Cik) I searched myself on how to start. Short on ideas, I decided to turn the prose that I had written 5 months earlier into poetry. At least I had something tangible to start with, I thought. I had the poetry posted on Oct 10,2010 (here).

At that time my understanding of poetry was that the rhyme at the end of each line must be maintained. So this poetry has that traditional trademark and it took me the whole night and the wee hours of the next morning to complete it - my very first effort in poetry writing!

The Prose
Birds had always fascinated me. Nothing prepared me to what happened this morning though (June 01,2010). It was a rare occurrence, a rare opportunity.I had a chance to snap pictures of a mother bird feeding its young all at my front porch.

I’ve been told there’s a bird’s nest just outside the house. It was pointed out to me a few day’s ago but I didn’t give it much attention. It looked empty anyway. However, this morning my domestic helper called out to me, excitedly ‘ Bapak, ada burung! (translation: Sir. there's a bird)
I rushed down and had a glimpse of it before it flew out again. I then rushed back to get my camera and stood at a strategic corner where I could see the nest and waited.
I waited for the better of 15 mins before I heard the chirping sound of the bird. It grew louder and it suddenly jumped into sight. I froze, careful not to reveal my presence. I had never stood still, upright and quiet this morning ( not since those days on the parade grounds back at the College) It was painstakingly a stiff neck posture holding the camera with unsteady hands.
It jumped about but still not nearer to its nest, apparently to make sure the coast was clear.Then suddenly it jumped into my camera’s sight and I just clicked and clicked. This happened for quite some while, it bringing little tit bits for the baby bird and I snapping every so often.

The Poetry

A Little Bird 
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

Submitted for d'Verse, Meeting the Bar - Prose to Poetry


  1. Dear Sir Hank,
    How are you? You only needed some prodding towards poetry and you have soared like that very bird.

    I need some help with Utusan. I remember you mentioning someone at Utusan who might be able to help. Can you email me at

    I am sorry but I have lost your phone numbers while changing from this phone to that!

  2. nice...glad you go the shot and nice capture of the birds...and a special moment...i will often sit on the back deck and just watch them...

  3. smiles...we had some above our terrace this spring as well..but never saw them..only overheard their conversations..smiles

  4. Wonderful capture of the birds and an excellent poem, such an up lifting start to my day. Thank you Hank.


  5. What an interesting prompt! And what an interesting response on your part! Did you gain a lot from doing it? I hope you did, for your poem has a lot of good things going for it.

  6. Awesome shot, really captured a great bird moment, I didn't let the cat see either, he might think a bit differently as he licked his lips..haha..great verse too.

  7. Poets seek to create sympathetic vibrations with each word note they sing. Your poem is well sung, evident by the many comments before my own.

  8. The pictures are special and you poem brings those images to life.

  9. I would have loved to enlarge these photos, Hank.
    A wondrous moment between the parent and the young bird. It was a lovely experience when written in prose, but it poetry it became wonderful.

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

  10. Really nicely done, love the way your process went, thanks for sharing. Great capture. Superb job, thanks

  11. Hank, what a wonderful experience...and write!

  12. What an amazing post? thanks for the goodness it brought to my heart.. mom's eternal..

  13. What a wonderful moment to share with us...I can remember that time that the baby bird was also at our window. That picture is lovely ~