Eagle, or: Hoopoe

A haibun

My response to d’Verse’s prompt for Haibun Monday: ‘Eagle’

As an adult, I left the United States of America. but the United States of America never left me. I have a graduate degree in US public policy; and I lived and worked in Washington, DC for three years. To this day, I continue to follow current events in the United States of America closely from my faraway home in Jerusalem, Israel.

Only a fragment of my soul remains in the United States of America, but I can navigate its society more readily than any other. I remain intimately familiar with the history, culture, and symbols of the United States of America in a way that transcends my mind. I know the names of the faces that appear on US currency. I know the meaning behind the stars and stripes of the flag. I know the dates of the American national holidays. I know the national anthem. I know the national motto. I know the national tree and the national mammal… and, of course, I know the national bird and the national seal that it graces.

America, for all its many challenges, remains the world’s superpower; and the [bald] eagle, its national bird, is considered to be the leader of the avian world, symbolizing strength, courage, immortality, and far-sightedness. This mighty bird of prey also enjoys connections with the Greek god Zeus and the Roman god Jupiter; and it flies higher than any other bird – alone – never in a flock.

Accipitridae -
More than 200 species.
Upupidae? One.

The haibun above is my response to the d’Verse Haibun Monday prompt.

Poets were directed to write haibuns that reference the Eagle, in whatever context they conceive. For those new to haibun, the form consists of one to a few paragraphs of prose (usually written in the present tense), which evoke an experience and are often non-fictional and/or autobiographical. They may be preceded or followed by one or more haiku—nature-based, using a seasonal image— that complement without directly repeating what the prose stated.

I did not strictly follow the prompt because I did not include a seasonal image. My mind meandered elsewhere.

76 thoughts on “Eagle, or: Hoopoe”

  1. Expat or not, I’m sure you keep current on affairs in the States, which would make you an ambassador, of sorts. We could use some well-grounded ambassadors.

    1. Ken,

      I suppose I am 🙂

      But truth be told, there are plenty of US expats living in Israel – it’s not an uncommon country of origin here.


      David

        1. Well, those who think also remember. After all, Israelis also want the rest of the world to know that they are individuals and not necessarily represented well by their leaders and their leaders’ policies.

          1. The problem here is that the recent election shows just how closely divided this nation still is, with those who are entrenched wanting everyone to think like them.

  2. Interesting… had no clue that the Hoopoe was the national bird of Israel… In Swedish mythology it’s considered a bird of bad omen… a harbinger of war to come. It’s only a rare visitor here though

        1. So interesting!

          Is the following Yiddish word related?

          feigele:
          ETYMOLOGY
          פֿײגעלע féygele ‘little bird’, from פֿויגל foygl ‘bird’

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