Tag Archives: haibun

Tanked II (haibun series)

If you’ve read my post Tanked, this picture of our new over-flow tank will be familiar. It’s 4m in diameter, weighs 400kg, and fell off the truck and tried to escape by rolling downhill into the dam when it was delivered. We stopped it, and rolled it back up to the house and tied it to a tree so it couldn’t get away.

Finally, after more than three weeks, and almost 100mm of rain (more than two months-worth in a normal year!) my husband decided it was time to move the tank into position. Now, in fairness, he had been waiting for the slab he made for it to dry, so it couldn’t have been moved a lot sooner.
But, as usual, he didn’t check the weather forecast. (A few years ago he started putting together our little timber yurt in the rain, after it had sat in pieces in the shed for months. It didn’t rain the whole time though – it started snowing just after we got the walls up. In late spring. The only day it snowed that year.)

These out-door projects –
Why does he always save them
for a rainy day?

So, on Saturday, in the drizzle, we all gathered outside to move the lawn ornament to its proper place so it could fulfill its proper function.
We rolled it, and carefully pushed it this way, then that way, to swivel it into the right direction. Sometimes we all pushed on the same side to roll it, sometimes we went to opposite sides and pushed in opposite directions (but not along the same line of action) to provide a couple moment to turn the tank. No, not the sort of couple moment other people have that involve sunsets and wine and holding hands. This is the sort of couple moment that happens to me in the pouring bloody rain with a bloody huge water tank that is in the wrong bloody place and potentially going to roll down a hill or into the house, and involves a lot of swearing. That sort of couple moment (the M = F d sort of couple moment).
Anyway, with a lot of force and some moments, the tank got past the corner of the roof without touching.

Just.

 

 

A miss is as good
as a mile, even if
its as close as this.

 

 

 

Now a bit more rolling along the side of the house, and the temporary removal of the clothes line (now in really heavy rain – I should have brought the washing in yesterday!) and the tank was half-way. And it was time to tip it over on to its base, because it needed to be slid from here.
The problem now was that the tank is 4m in diameter, so to make it tip over, we needed to be able to push at somewhat above 2m. And none of us are very tall.
So, husband stayed outside in the rain to look at the tank and think about forces and moments and leverage and friction, while the rest of went inside to dry out. Sometime later there was hammering and the sound of the electric drill.

This is the picture:
mechanical advantage
frames the solution.

He had built a timber frame, and pushed one edge under the tank using the crow-bar. Then he and the boys lifted….
“Slowly… slowly… I SAID SLOWLY!!!!”

… and the tank tipped over on to its base!

Now all we had to do was slide it down the hill about 30m to its final resting place on the concrete slab. Except the path was rocky, and there was a tree somewhat in the way with a steep drop down to the main tank not much more than 2m away from it.
So, we roped the tank to the tree, pulled the frame apart and turned the timber into rails, and slowly, slowly, with much adjustment, and tightening of the rope, we slid and swung the tank past the tree, until it was ready to drop the last few feet into the concrete slab.

A bit of adjustment to the rails, and some more pushing, and here it is!

With some ropes and boards, and child labour, almost anything is possible!

Waste not, to want not –
we’re ready to catch every
drop of rain that falls.

And, like a benediction on all our hard work, with the tank in place and ready to be filled, the sun came out!

 

 

22 Comments

Filed under poem, prose

tanked (haibun series)

It’s been a really wet year, and relying on tank water as we do it’s frustrating to see the tanks overflowing – all that water we can’t store just running down into the gullies! So having talked about it for months, and with the La Nina starting to fade away, we’ve finally bought another tank. Continue reading

26 Comments

Filed under poem, prose

for L_, who I trust and respect

I didn’t go to his funeral. Even if I could have, I would not have gone. Funerals are for the living, Continue reading

19 Comments

Filed under poem, prose

August

For the dVerse Monday Haibun prompt, “August“:

August is a time of uncertainty, of transition – of winter greys and browns being suddenly speckled with green and yellow as the daffodils in my garden and the wattles in the bush bloom.
One day I wake to find the birdbath frozen over, and huddle in my coat, woolly beanie pulled low as I rush to do my outdoor chores. The next day the sun warms my back so much I shed layers down to a t-shirt – fooling me into forgetting my woolly beanie the next day so my ears freeze.
One day the air carries the sweet dusty scent of the wattles, the next it is so icy all I can smell is the sharp metallic scent of cold, that reddens the nose and makes it run. And then, suddenly, a hint of spring drifts through again.

A tendril of warmthwattle
curls through the air, carrying
scent of earth and growth.

13 Comments

Filed under poem

Three layers, seven colours

A while I ago I posted a rant about rainbows. It was triggered by a comment that science ruins rainbows by taking away the magic. My argument in that post was that science adds to their beauty and magic because it allows you to “see” so much more in them.
A couple of days ago I was walking across a carpark and it had just started raining. And there was a stunning rainbow on the ground:

Continue reading

21 Comments

Filed under poem, rants

spring’s golden standard

It’s hard to avoid seeing evidence of climate change, when the spring bulbs are starting to flower around the winter solstice. The jonquils started a few weeks ago, in very early winter, and the first iris opened just a few days ago.

We’re not yet into the coldest part of winter, yet the spring is already pushing its way in. I am trying to enjoy it, without fearing too much the summer that will come after.

In winter’s stronghold
spring’s advance party unfurls
its golden standard.

18 Comments

Filed under poem

lower right cheek

For the dVerse Monday haibun prompt “flower moon“:

Glimpsed for a moment through the thick autumn fog, stubble coloured sheep speckle stubble covered paddocks. A wheel thumps over a dead ‘roo, a fresh bloody mass smeared further across the tarmac by my passing. I turn up the fan to dispel the mist growing, by some sympathetic magic, on the inside of my windscreen.
Watching the car thermometer dip below freezing as I roll down into the valley, I ponder this morning’s poetry prompt: flower moon. In the northern hemisphere anemones, bluebells and lupins are flowering, and corn is being planted.

On the earth’s arse, just
a week away from winter –
no flowers here, mate.

54 Comments

Filed under poem

no loose ‘roos in here

This is for d’Verse’s Haibun Monday: The present moment. I got into the office, opened my email, my calendar, my magic pudding TO DO list, and then… though I knew I oughtn’t… checked the Monday dVerse prompt.

 

H_ opens the gate at the top of the driveway, swinging on it the last 45 degrees, though I always tell her not to. She gets back in and we barrel on down the hill. A flock of cockatoos, white against a blue sky, swoops across the road in front of me to land in a paddock among the ‘roos. “Got a ‘roo loose in the top paddock” I say, but H_ doesn’t get the joke, yet.
We lurch and bounce over potholes and gullies, until dirt gives way to gravel, gives way to bitumen and we admire the autumn colours as we trundle into the village – claret ash, golden ash, scarlet pin oak, Chinese pistachio and liquidambar… even the names speak of flames, of flaring vivid transience, of an excitability beyond tulips.
A quick hug, an “I love you, have a good day” and H_ is running for the school gate and I am heading for the highway, the parkway, past the airport where a jet roars overhead, white as a cockatoo in the sun, packed with pollies heading for Sydney. Traffic lights, merging lanes, security gate, carpark, swipe card entry so my presence is known, my whereabouts tracked. Down corridors where crimsons have been safely ritalined into placid rose, all verdant greens safely, sagely, Valium-dulled (although I think the ceiling is giving me separation anxiety).

Don’t swing on the gate,
it could come unhinged – we don’t
want ‘roos loose in here.

11 Comments

Filed under poem, prose

hatsu hana, sakura and osozakura

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.

20 Comments

Filed under poem

crayons

For the d’Verse Haibun Monday prompt “Walk with me down memory lane”, but instead of a walk, I took a drive down memory lane. Continue reading

35 Comments

Filed under poem