Tag Archives: rurality

evensong

For dVerse Tuesday poetics: the poet’s storehouse, celebrating National Thesaurus Day (US):

The clamour
of the hundred-member
froglet
kazoo-band
is punctuated
by the flatulent bellow
of the pobblebonk.

Their amphibious hubbub
rises from the damn
as an almost-solid layer of sound.

Above,
the dulcet tones of the carolling magpie
curl through the air
like a sweet fragrance.
He embellishes his song with each repetition,
creating variations,
adding overtones
harmonising
(impossibly)
with himself.

Kookaburra,
ever unimpressed,
and, indeed,
unimpressible,
chortles, chuckles,
and then explodes in full-throated,
full-bodied,
cackles –

silencing the frogs
and sending magpie home in a huff.

 

The challenge was to use a word from each of these lists:

   bellow; clink; drone; jingle; quiver;
   clamour; dissonant; rip-roaring; tempestuous; vociferous;
   dulcet: honeyed; poetic; sonorous; tonal;
   blabber; cackle; dribble; gurgle; seethe;
   beseech; chant; drawl; embellish; intone

So obviously the poem had to be about either my (droning, bellowing, dissonant, vociferous, blabbering, cackling…) kids, or the (other) local wildlife.  

I can’t post files, but here are links to the frog and bird songs mentioned if you want to hear them:
eastern sign bearing froglets (kazoo band)
pobblebonk
magpie – quite different in look and sound to norther hemisphere magpies.
kookaburra 

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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!

 

 

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kookaburra quadrille

For the dVerse Monday quadrille prompt “muse cues“: write a quadrille (exactly 44 words) using the word muse or some variation.

Kookaburra sits in the old gumtree,
shouting out into the bush is he:
“This is my territory!”
“Hey, how about sex?”
“Are you looking at me?”
“Seriously, how about sex?”
“Yeah, you and whose army?”

In loud amused glee,
kookaburras mates’ reply:
ha-ha hee-hee!

 

I heard the kookaburras at dawn this morning, yelling across the clearing to each other – saying much the same things humans are always trying to yell at each other, but with an appropriately amused tone. 

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evening soundscape

The cicadas are resting now
(though surely they cannot sleep
through the row of the crickets – Continue reading

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0900 Christmas day

The tinsel-scattered glitter
of Christmas-eve candlelight
is dispersed now,
turned to dust by the sunlight,
waiting to be swept up
with the crumpled wrapping-paper
littering the floor.

Outside, a few lazy cicadas are still warming up,
their
click-click-click – buzz… pause (repeat)
like a playing-field sprinkler,
steadies and merges with the background roar
of their thousand more punctual siblings. Continue reading

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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

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Good things only #3 / sevenling (roses)

Finally the teaching-year is done for me, with just graduation to go next week.   So I’m hoping to find more time for reading and writing now.

It’s been a challenging year, and the last few months in particular have been difficult. So here is a floral pick-me-up, for myself and anyone else who needs to stop and smell the roses.

1.  The lilies are just starting to bloom! First the Asiatics, but soon the Orientals and trumpets will be blooming too!

2. Hearts-ease – also known as Johnny-jump-ups or violas – are in bloom in all sorts of unexpected places. These first snuck into my garden ten years ago as stow-aways in a pot of something else, and they’ve spread to come up year after year in pots and bathtubs and garden beds. Continue reading

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in the moonlight of other nights

For the dVerse “in the light of other days” prompt, a request to share a memory, recent or past.  This is a little of both, and the possum shown in the pictures here, that I took last night, may well have been the baby of an earlier season’s “poss”.

Poss has come visiting again.

Caught in the torchlight
she runs up a post
only to discover her way blocked.

Was there no roof here last time she visited?
Or has she forgotten?

Memory is a fickle friend,
hers and mine.

Continue reading

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the ghost kangaroo of Gundaroo

Reposting this for Halloween: 

Come gather round the campfire mates,
and we’ll share a tale or two.
And I’ll tell you one that’s true and straight,
of the Gundaroo ghost kangaroo. Continue reading

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bronze bollocks

I’m a mouthy little specimen,
with pheromone breath enticing,
come, crawl up my labellum,
to my anther so inviting.
Let my petals guide your flight,
there’s just two, but sepals aid,
come on, come in, don’t fight,
the stigma’s worth the pollen paid. Continue reading

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