By Gwen So
The Saturday Night Public Kapihan topics are usually about birding places and what avian treasures can be found there, so when Atty. Crissy Montes volunteered to do a poetry session on October 10, we organizers got pretty excited about doing something different. How did the session go? Judge for yourselves and check out our original haikus done in the traditional three lines with a 5-7-5 syllable count.
MJ Bugante: I have never ever written a poem in my life. Literature nor writing is not for me, but since we were “required” to submit a haiku after the kapihan, I tried to look for some inspiration. Since our dining table is near the window, I would look out every day to check if the Chestnut Munias were there. At that moment, they were not. Thus this haiku:
Ternel Telesforo: Kaya naisip ko yung haiku ko na tungkol sa hornbill ay dahil sa pandemic na meron tayo ngayon. What if isa sa inyo (partner) ang nawala? Saan ang isa sa amin pupulutin? (In light of the pandemic, what if you lose your partner? What will happen to you? This made me think of the hornbills.)
Trinket Constantino: I was pressured to write a haiku on the spot and off the top of my head I thought of the Maria Capra in the backyard. I’ve always liked how smartly it snaps its wings and how it swoops down to catch insects. It was also raining that day so I put all these into the haiku.
Crissy Montes: Bird calls often evoke memories of past people, places and experiences. My haiku was inspired by another haiku where the author, Matsuo Basho, talks of the cuckoo’s song making him miss Kyoto even if he was already in Kyoto.
Gwen So: That day I lifered the male Narcissus Flycatcher which perched on a branch in front of me! I was told it was an unusual occurrence because they usually arrive later. I was still on a high from the experience hence the haiku.
Ruth Page: I am not a fan of poetry or any other form of literature. It was torture class in school for me! However, like the others, I gave it a go because after all, birds were our focus. The back story for my haiku is this. One day I heard a loud call. There’s a dead looking tree across the road from my place and I was quickly able to spot and identify the Coppersmith Barbet. I watched as it would disappear into a hole in one of the thicker dead branches. Day by day for almost a year I’d hear two barbets …and then one day there were three!
Lu-Ann Fuentes-Bajarias: During the haiku writing exercise, we were told to capture a feeling. What came to mind was a grey morning of a destination wedding when I saw Philippine ducks flying overhead. I remembered thinking, “Ah, fidelity symbols in Asian culture, how fitting for my friends.” The marriage didn’t make it. I liked the contrariness of that (and however sad at first, sometimes parting ways can be best for all).
Rodec Dela Cruz: Haikus aim to capture a feeling or an image in a limited number of syllables. We were birdwatching that morning, and after more than 3 hours, we were ready to home already. Then something blue flew by and landed somewhere near the river – a kingfisher! I stopped the car and went down to look for it. Then we saw a Little Egret, a Grey Wagtail, then an Arctic Warbler and a Collared Kingfisher.
Nancy Dimayacyac: Last year, I rescued a White-throated Kingfisher. Unfortunately, it didn’t make it. I felt dejected that time thinking what if my future animal patients will also die. I remembered the WTKF during the kapihan, but now “I ain’t that blue” anymore. Magandang release ang pagsusulat ng tula. (Writing poems is such good release.)
Yani Barcenas: I miss my patch as the rains and rising waters have kept me away from it for days. There was a short break from the downpour and when I paid a visit the landscape was still under a heavy sky. I could hear the birds but not seen them.
Adrian Constantino: There is no background story. I’m very spontaneous, so when you ask for a haiku, this came to mind.
Nathalie Maggay : I was very inspired at the thought that birds plant for us!
Jasmin Meren: My Aeta friends were teaching me the art of “hunting”. In their ancestral domain they brought me to a stream where they asked me to slow down and skulk. A few moments later an orange blur flew low and within arm’s reach perched a vibrant Philippine Dwarf Kingfisher! It stayed, probably confused about the three immobile intruders in its territory until it probably heard the booming beats of my heart and flew away.
Robby Alabado: Looking for the first signs of the Brown Shrike has been an annual ritual for me. I love the way it reclaims its territory by harassing all the birds around it. Listening to its screeching calls to broadcast its arrival also signals the coming of winter in the northern parts of the world and we in the southern parts now play host to these lovely creatures until they are ready to back to their breeding grounds. This has been happening for millions of years and we are just a speck in the history of its cycle of migration.
Ricky de Castro: I’ve been fascinated by the bleeding heart ever since I went into bird watching. One day in Panglima Sugala in Sulu, I asked a native if they ever saw a bird with that red mark in the chest and they said they did some time ago, caught it, and tried to heal that wound in the chest. Of course, it never did heal hehe, but the bird died so don’t know if it was a Sulu bleeding heart. For the haiku, well, it’s as simple as his bleeding heart is all for show … and mine is for real!
Our common love for birds has made people not into poetry wax poetic hehe. It is our job to raise awareness about our feathered friends. On this night, we found another avenue to spread the word. There will now be a regular poetry column in eBon and contributions from club members are very welcome. Check out the “The Birdwatcher” poem for more details!