On the hill above the city,
on an afternoon all green and blue:
Picnics are spread, a tea-party laid out.
A small boy joyfully kicks
a large plush toy down the hill,
as a wedding party poses by the pavilion.
Happily discordant strains
of “happy birthday to you”
drift from a nearby teenage group,
set apart from the many little ones
who are running,
beneath a bright flock of kites.
I took my daughter and a couple of her friends for a picnic and kite flying at the Arboretum yesterday. It was one of those perfect Canberra autumn afternoons – mild and sunny, and almost unbearably blue. The sort you want to keep preserved in glass, for later revisiting.
At least it was perfect until I decided to have a go at rolling down the hill. The kids were having a great time doing it, and who cares what other people think, right? Turns out all those other adults were smarter than me. Barely a quarter of the way down I had to stop, head spinning and almost throwing up. Sigh. Next time I will stick to flying kites.
The string slides through my fingers
as the kite leaps up,
impatient to join the bright flock.
Riding the wind,
string humming in my hand,
it tugs like a fish with each gust –
a dot-dash transmission:
let me go
For the dVerse Monday prompt “In praise of the grape“, a quadrille using the word wine:
The autumn-sweet air is eucalypt clean,
light, yellow as late-harvest wine, gilds the trees,
insect hum deepens the stillness,
stirred by currawong’s mournful goodnight.
The trees blush rose,
into the darkness rising from valley
to meet an apricot sky,
ripening to indigo.
An envelope of optimism
arrived in the mail today.
A purchase made with wisdom?
I cannot as yet say.
Now they’re spread upon the table
all these packs of possibility
each neatly filled and labelled –
with hopes of harvests yet to be. Continue reading
Filed under gardening, poem
For the dVerse Haibun Monday prompt: Cherry Blossoms.
Every day I drive past a field on the edge of the village. A view of it opens suddenly between rows of tall trees, and I have to look quickly to catch a glimpse of it as I turn onto the bridge into the village. Today this field is darkened by the autumn rains to mud-brown, and even the sheep, knee-deep in mud, are mucky grey-brown.
But in my mind, it is emerald green with fresh spring growth, dotted with white sheep. It is sweet summer deep-gold with ripe grain and pale-gold with dry straw. It is drought-dry hard summer ochre, with willy-willies swirling columns of dust among the thirsty sheep. It is autumn grey. It is glittering white with winter frost. In a single glimpse it is all of these, all at once, each a vivid transparency overlaid on today’s precious glimpse.
I blink, and the field is behind me and I am slowing to enter the village, where the houses and a line of decorative street-trees begins, the last yellowed leaves falling from their bare branches…
I see blossoms foam,
leaf buds forming, un-furling,
on bare black branches.
The last in the “and there were lilies series” – the epilogue to last year’s “jubilate lilium“.
I’ve never had much luck with the classic pink “naked lady” lily, but the white one could be a bridal bouquet all on it’s own.
Summer’s parting gift –
a bouquet tossed over her
shoulder as she leaves.
Once again their silvered skins
have dropped in disorderly curls,
like shed gowns, pooling at their feet.
It’s the last day of summer, and the brittle gums are well into shedding their bark. First they go from silver to dark grey, then the old bark peels off exposing the new white bark underneath. It’s hardly a spectacular autumn change, but it’s a marker of the changing seasons still.
It’s my birthday tomorrow… so I ordered some more green-apple hair colour as a present to myself – I’m not greying at the temples, I’m greening. Now I just need to find my reading glasses so I can read the instructions…
Now is my autumn, and I’m discontent,
when I contemplate the money I’ve spent
on all these little jars of stuff,
perhaps it’s time to say ‘enough’!
“Intensive replumping” on my face?
I’ve plumped in every other place! Continue reading
In response to Eugi’s weekly prompt, “autumn leaves”:
When autumn leaves, she leaves behind
forgotten treasure for us to find:
sweet chestnuts, spiky as a curse,
bright windfalls for this year’s preserves.
Then we fill our jars with bright sunlight
to see us through dark winter nights.
A riddle in rhyme, in response to Eugi’s weekly prompt, “magic”. What are the Orb, Staff and Crown?
Take the Orb, the Staff, the Crown,
bury them, shallow, in the ground. Continue reading
Filed under gardening, poem