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)

Harbinger

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Dawn. A south wind. Leaves
tap the glass. The rain drops in
monosyllables.

(15 February 2015)

 


Two mornings in a row, the leaves of the Cordyline banksii outside my window have awakened me early. Wellington’s summer has been fine and warm, so these few cool days, with their southerly air flow, seem like a harbinger of autumn.

Strokes of havoc

hi-viz orange (02 May 2014)

hi-viz orange (02 May 2014)

The din I heard as I emerged from my bathroom turned out to be coming from a chainsaw wielded by one of the workmen the city council had sent to strip the ivy and other creepers from the green bank behind my apartment block. The devastation they’d wreaked appalled me, and I felt some concern for my own garden – lavender, roses, and camellias.

Scheduled to go into the city, I caught a bus whilst they were on their morning smoko, but before doing so I took a minute to squeeze off a few close-ups of the monarch butterfly disturbed and dislodged by the hack and rack of the two orange-clad, hi-viz-wearing workmen.

My garden had never been in danger, in fact … although the next day my nose dripped, my eyes itched … and, oh my, such sneezing fits! – the ivy, I’m guessing.

The title of this post and the phrase, “hack and rack”, come from Binsey Poplars by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

 

Après un rêve

walnut in spring (31 Oct 2012)

walnut in spring (31 Oct 2012)

Switching my computer on, this morning – and committed to writing – I was in little doubt that material from my dream would find its way into the text. There was something about a woman I loved many years ago returning as a friend. And a bouquet of apparently unrelated images.

Après un rêve, I typed, attempting to impose some semblance of order on my unruly thoughts.

Nothing much came of it. But it did turn out that this morning’s “Composer of the Week” radio talk began with an instrumental arrangement of Gabriel Fauré’s lovely melodie, Après un rêve.

There are numerous versions of this song on YouTube, and some of the comments make interesting reading. I have not listened to them all, but was taken with two: the first, by Véronique Gens (Roger Vignoles, piano); and there’s a splendid version by Barbara Hendricks, accompanied by Michel Dalberto.

Feeding the birds

feeding the birds

feeding the birds

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Old man tossing bread
by the handful to the birds
– those I always feed.

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Around the city I see pensioners – men in the main – with bags of bread. At bus-stops, getting on and off the buses, occupying park benches … they’re feeding the birds.

In my little garden, I am visited by blackbirds, finches, and silver-eyes, as well as by sparrows and starlings.

For an occasional treat, I sit in Civic Square with a packet of hot chips. Seagulls and sparrows are quick-eyed and quick-witted, often catching the scraps I throw to them. The pigeons don’t get much to eat from me – they’re not quick enough.

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Image found on imgfave – posted by Rose By Any Other Name