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Lahaina Mynahs

The droppings of a thousand Mynah birds
(While nesting in a Maui banyan tree)
Descended on my pre-teen daughter. Words
Cannot describe her abject misery.

Her shoulders, arms and hands were plastered white
As were her t-shirt and her auburn hair.
In shock, she stood there screaming—what a sight!—
With gobs of dripping bird crap everywhere.

No doubt you’ve heard the phrase, “Shit happens!” Well,
In this case it most literally did.
Humiliated by the birds from Hell,
My daughter was a miserable kid.
Today, she laughs, though memories remain
When tropic skies dropped poop instead of rain.

.

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Bring Your Own

The invitation put me in a bind;
I couldn’t figure out “BYOB.”
And though I searched for one I couldn’t find
A good excuse to not RSVP.

The “BYO” I knew meant “Bring Your Own.”
But what the final “B” meant wasn’t clear.
Within its cryptic acronymic zone
It could mean “Bourbon,” “Bottle,” “Booze,” or “Beer.”

I didn’t think it meant to bring my “Baby.”
Or my old “Boyfriend” ought to come along.
Could it have meant a “Bullwhip” or, just maybe,
A “Bratwurst,” “Bagel,” “Baklava,” or “Bong?”

But in the end, instead of being boring,
I brought a “Bugle” I kept under wraps.
Then pulled it out when people started snoring
And closed the party out by playing taps.

.

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James A. Tweedie is a recently retired pastor living in Long Beach, Washington. He likes to walk on the beach with his wife. He has written and self-published four novels and a collection of short stories. He has several hundred unpublished poems tucked away in drawers.


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12 Responses

  1. Russel Winick

    I like them too, James. I’m glad your daughter can laugh about those birds now.

    Reply
  2. C.B. Anderson

    These were not just light-hearted, James. They were downright hilarious.

    For a fact, it’s every bit as difficult to write good light verse as it is to write good heavy (serious) verse. Some, like you, have the ability to do both.

    Reply
    • James A. Tweedie

      Thanks C.B.; an honored compliment coming from someone who weaves humor into fine verse as well as you do. We each put our own twist into it, though, which adds to the entertainment!

      Reply
  3. Joseph S. Salemi

    I weep with your pre-teen daughter–
    Those mynah birds attacked, and caught her
    In a bombing raid that hit
    The poor girl with a load of shit.
    One ought not go mano-a-mano
    With purveyors of pure guano.

    Reply
    • James A. Tweedie

      Lol! She so now 38-years old and has got most of it out of her hair by now. The Banyan tree is still there and is the largest of its kind in the US. It is also famous for the Mynah birds that also make quite a racket with their massed raucous chatter.

      Reply
  4. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    James, these two poems are a delightful smile in a trying world. I love the use of pee in the “tropic skies dropped poop” line… sorry, I couldn’t resist 😉 And, as for the brilliant BYO – I hope it wasn’t Peter’s Tyrolese one… he’s been trying to get that by Evan for a while and won’t be best pleased if it is.

    On a serious note, thank you for your continued inspiration. Your range of poetry never ceases to inspire and amaze me and it’s an absolute pleasure to read your work.

    Reply
    • James A. Tweedie

      Susan, Life is a whimsical and often ironic mixture of tragedy and comedy, tears and laughter. Shakespeare recognized this and gave equal time to each, often stirring them together to create sympathy for a character or to simply reflect the full range of human nature. Chaucer does the same and the ability to do both (even simultaneously) is something I value in both my poetry and prose. You, Peter, C.B., James S., Joe and Joseph (among others) have cultivated this ability to take humor seriously. Your comment reflects your own love and celebration of all that makes us human. The Bible (anthropomorphically) reminds us that even “He who sits in the heavens laughs.” Yes, even scoffing and scornful derision have their place in life and, of course, in its mirror image, poetry!

      Reply
      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        James, thank you for your lovely comment. Your reference to Shakespeare and Chaucer has taken be back to my school years, when my English teacher told the class that all the plots and characters in Shakespeare’s plays can be found in every British soap opera… and so they could. My worst Shakespeare experience was at Summer School in London. An acting troupe visited and asked the students to give them a Shakespeare character and the name of a film star. Macbeth’s “Is this a dagger I see before me” scene played in the style of John Wayne – all swagger and slow drawl – won’t leave my head. I cannot see this play without a snigger.

  5. Christophet Flint

    How about a Mynah change to yoor ending:

    Today, she laughs, but long have thoughts remained
    Of tropic skies that pooped instead of rained.

    You make of birds nefarious
    a daughter’s tale hilarious.

    .

    Reply

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