Eastbourne mamaku

This fine mamaku, growing close to the house in a friend’s Eastbourne garden, was planted many years ago by his father. A second, much younger specimen growing elsewhere in the garden was transplanted as a seedling from a bush garden in Kelburn, where I used to live.

Cyathea medullaris, popularly known as the black tree fern, is a large tree fern up to 20m tall. It is distributed across the south-west Pacific from Fiji to Pitcairn and New Zealand. It is called mamaku, katātā, kōrau, or pītau in the Māori language.” (Wikipedia)

Wearing vermilion

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All day I’ve noticed
folk wearing vermilion,
but still, since summer,
most of us have been wearing
this year’s fashion colour – black.

(Friday 13 March 2015)

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NOTES:

“Vermilion is a brilliant red or scarlet pigment originally made from the powdered mineral cinnabar, and is also the name of the resulting color. It was widely used in the art and decoration of Ancient Rome, in the illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages, in the paintings of the Renaissance, and in the art and lacquerware of China, where it is often called ‘Chinese Red’.” (Wikipedia)

See also: Pigments through the Ages

Verdigris

verdigris (09 March 2015)

verdigris (09 March 2015)

“Natural or artificially created coatings of verdigris is commonly used as a patina to protect copper or bronze objects, especially in architecture. … Until the 19th century, verdigris was the most vibrant green pigment available and was frequently used in painting.” (Wikipedia).

The corner plate pictured here protects the beautiful stonework of a doorway in Maginnity Street, Wellington.

Visiting the neighbours

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On the scented tree
four orange butterflies rest –
and now, six, seven …

(09 March 2015)


Some weeks ago, striped caterpillars stripped bare the swan plant one of my neighbours had planted. We thought the ravening gluttons must have been eaten by birds. Somewhere nearby, however, certain of their relatives must have survived, pupated, then hatched.

What’s in a name?

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After yesterday’s
rain, this morning’s air is sweet.
My neighbours have a
fragrant tree … and no, I don’t
know its botanical name.

(08 March 2015)


Tanka consist of five units (often treated as separate lines when romanized or translated) usually with the following pattern of on: 5-7-5-7-7.

The 5-7-5 is called the kami-no-ku (上の句 “upper phrase”), and the 7-7 is called the shimo-no-ku (下の句 “lower phrase”). (Wikipedia)

Full moon soon

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Pinned to autumn grey
the white disc has one soft edge …
two days still to go.

(06 March 2015)


In fact, 06 March 2015 is the night of the full moon. The observation underpinning the haiku took place two nights ago, but I have just finalised the text.

Dream sequence

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In a dream, lost, and
perplexed: hilly pathways, gates,
steps, gardens, doorways …

entrances denied
to me, barricades: all this
so familiar.

I stop. I wake up.
Was that me weeping? howling?
that another dream?

(Monday 02 March 2015)