Monthly Archives: April 2022

the breakfast rush

For the Monday dVerse haibun prompt “birdsongs“:  

The sky is white and the air autumn-cool. Inside the children are eating breakfast, packing bags, looking for lost things. Outside, I throw scraps and a saucepan-scoop of pellets to the pig, and a scoop of wheat to the hens.
The rosellas swoop in, to perch chittering and bickering in the bent brittlegum by the chicken coop, waiting for me to leave. Among the brilliant reds and blues of the adults are a few youngsters not yet in full-dress plumage, but still in their dull cami greens. They are flamboyantly beautiful brats, especially the adults. Unable to share, they chase each other away so none has much chance to feed.
Circling the house, I pour a little wheat into each feeder. At the front I disturb the chough family who have arrived early. They hop and whistle back into the tree line, in their dignified black coats with only a fan of white lining showing when they spread their wings. Always together, like a close-knit family of undertakers, the choughs alight together at the feeder, all eight forming a black flower – heads down, tails up, as they share a meal.

The sky falls, screaming –
the cockatoos have arrived.
The small birds scatter.

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boule de neige

I have brought it with me,
down from the hills
where the snow shrouds the ground
between monochrome trees.
I have brought it with me,
down through the fog
that blankets the valley
like a cloud stretched in sleep.
I have brought it with me,
to where snow gives way to grass
beneath technicolour trees
and petals dust the ground.
I have brought it with me
down from the hills
and down through the fog
from winter to spring.
I have brought it with me, for you.
But while I looked for you
it melted away,
melted away to just a cupful of water.
Just a cupful of water,
like any other.

This is for the Tuesday dVerse prompt “naming the rose“, and the challenge is to write a poem titled or using the name of a rose from the list provided. The rose I chose was boule de neige, which means “ball of snow”. It reminded me of a poem I wrote a few years ago when we had a sudden flurry of snow in spring, and I took a cupful of it to work with me for a friend. When I got to work my car still had snow on the roof (because my damn heater didn’t work), and the car I parked next to had blossom petals all over it. My cupful of snow melted in my office before I could pass it on, so I drank it. I’m cheating a bit and posting an edited version of that poem today, as I haven’t posted it before. 

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a stutter in the seasons

Summer refuses to depart,
though the sun’s daily arc
now starts well north of east
and ends far short west.
Reluctant to leave,
though the lights are dimmed
she drags out another encore.

And this hesitation confuses:
only half-way to winter
but beneath the soil
barely-rested bulbs
raise their new green spires
like a scattering of uncertain applause
through last season’s still green foliage.

This succession of Indian summers, in which
any colder day seems a transient glitch, is
a stutter in the seasons –
so summer plays again and again.

But the sun cannot be fooled –
he rises and inscribes
an autumnal arc across the sky.

 

Some years ago a friend visiting from Sydney asked “do you get many sunsets here?”, to which I gave the obvious answer “yes, every day”. But I guess they’re more noticeable here – the kitchen window faces west, towards a long ridge, and he was looking out that window at the sunset when he asked. The point along the ridge where the sun sinks changes with the seasons, like a sundial calendar.  So even though it feels like summer at the moment, the point where the sun is going down is well to the north now of where the summer sun sinks. In the southern hemisphere the sun heads north for the winter, not south.  🙂  

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moon-shadows

tree-shredded moonlight
lies in strips across the path
and drips onto my hair
until, shaking it from me,
it pools on the doormat
where by sunrise it has gone

I’ve resumed my daily walks, but with daylight saving time over my walks are now mostly in the dark.  At least at the moment the moon is near full.

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another Easter egg hunt

This year, Easter has come early. Instead of the great Easter egg hunt being held on Sunday, it was today because my husband is taking them away tomorrow to visit their grandparents for a few days.

Last year I posted about how we make our poor unfortunate children solve puzzles and do maths to get their Easter eggs. No wonder they say we’re horrible parents…

The kids have to follow the clues, each clue leading to an Easter egg and the next clue, until the final clue leads to an Easter bunny.

Some of the clues need knowledge of the property, for example that we have a small hexagonal yurt with its own water tank, and a sitting tree, and a dam with a pump located at it, and the kids have a bark hut they built. The animal feed is stored in feed bins which are home to rodents no matter what we do, as is my greenhouse. Oh, and our only heating is a slow combustion wood stove.

With that in mind, here are some of this year’s clues if you want to have a go at them (answers posted at the end):

For the 9 year old:

Unjumble

Write the notes and fill in the gaps

Some maths

Some shapes

and word puzzles:

(my photo was too blurry, so I’m typing it out)
Busy as a _____
What horses eat, minus the aitch _____
What pirates are reputed to say _______
Turn it on it’s side (drawing of a sideways K)    ______
leave a space, and then:
Your age minus one, and add a “ch”   _____
Not me, or him, or her, but _____
You can put a small white ball on me  ______

 

For the 14 year olds:

More difficult maths, both simultaneous equations:

and some simple graphing (follow the directions):

Some science (physics, chemistry and biology):

I’m typing this one out because apparently my handwriting was too hard to read:

Rapid oxidation
occurs inside my tum
then CO2 and H2O
come flying out my bum!
My colon’s very long and tall
it reaches to the sky
releasing clouds in winter time
gassing birdies flying by

And some playing with words:
(this one was dropped and lost, so I’m typing it out too)

Say a mild oath, with a missing end,
are you feeling the pressure now, my friend? 
Solve this cryptic clue, then run
to get your egg before it melts in the sun. 

 

and here are the solutions (top to bottom) (scroll down… ):

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woodshed, deck table, gate, between the yurt and its tank, bark hut, yurt, deck, green house, wood stove (fireplace), feed-bins, dam pump.

 

 

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summoning the sun

For the Thursday dVerse prompt (better late than never) “morning has broken“. The challenge was to write an aubade. I didn’t quite manage that, but here is a description of an aubade (of sorts) that starts about 0400 every morning here:

Listen to him crowing:
again and again rooster calls,
summoning the sun.
An hour, and another hour
and another hour of darkness
do not dent his tenacity.

Admire his determination:
(becoming tinged with desperation?)
he does not stop
until his efforts are rewarded
by the reluctant slug-a-bed sun.

And see him now:
strutting proudly among the hens
proclaiming loudly:
Look! For you, I have summoned the sun!
For you I have brought this new day!
This I have done, for you!

Clucking to each other,
the hens submit to his advances
as to a minor inconvenience,
then, ruffling their feathers straight,
they go about their day.

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