A journal of art + literature engaging with nature, culture, the environment & ecology

Two poems by Euginia Tan

Euginia Tan, Singapore

hdb hornbills


their sightings caused

more of a ruckus than awe.

perched unceremoniously

on bamboo washing poles,

bombarding balconies,

beaked burglars devouring

caged sparrows whole.

their fuschia mantle

emanate a haughty air

in the heartlands,

staring down pedestrians

at stairwell nooks, chess table shelters,

overhead bridges, street lamps.

ferocious rebels in

their unfettered youth,

larger than the life

stipulated to them

on the face of a stamp

or a laminated image

on an old phone card.


the bald mynah


my niece’s brush

with cancer

left her head

with a coat of peach fuzz

soft as a kitten’s down.

she touches it tentatively,

eyes downcast

when she looks in the mirror.


at the park one day,

a bald mynah pecked at our feet,

its yellow head exposed,

bobbing like a life buoy,

joining the other mynahs

after its rounds, lost but found

in the swarm of black birds.


my niece’s eyes grow wide

at the odd mynah.

the afternoon sun

blazes on ruthlessly.

my niece throws her

denim round brimmed hat

into my lap, running

to the playground,

bald, young and free.

Euginia Tan is a Singaporean writer who writes poetry, creative non-fiction and plays. Her poetry collection, Phedra, was nominated for the Singapore Literature Prize (2018). She enjoys cross-pollinating art with multidisciplinary platforms and reviving stories. Contact her at eugtan@hotmail.com.

Nessus Sphinx Moth

Constrained Crane

Constrained Crane