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. 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. I enjoyed your haibun, David, learning a bit about you and your life, and about the eagle, the national bird of the US, especially that it has connections with the Greek god Zeus and the Roman god Jupiter – I’d like to read more about them.

  2. I have never seen a bald eagle in the wild but I have seen a hoopoe – it flew right in front of my windscreen like an escort so I had to follow behind it – fascinating! I like the subtle comparison you make between the two nations.

  3. Like with all symbols there is the idea and what it stands for and some reality because of the weakness of humanity, rapped up by the faith of its promise, may we all get there one day

  4. I am soaring tonight reading the many creative pieces that feature eagles. I like the direction you took, focusing on the symbolism of the majestic bird. 🦅 Seeing eagles in the wild, in Oregon, along the mighty Rogue River, felt like a once-in-a-lifetime moment for me. 💖

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