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Friday, 5 May 2006

Poetry Thursday

I'd like to let you all know about the launch of the Poetry Thursday website set up by Lynn of Sprigs and Liz Elayne.

As of today, like all Poetry Thursday contributors, I will be posting a poem as part of my blog.

Here is tonight's poem:

monkey puzzle

As a Girl Guide
practicing Scottish Country Dancing
with Leeanne Rutherford my partner,
rehearsing reels in a white dress and sash
on a bare, brown lawn beside a tree
outside the Riversdale Church Hall,
I discovered how sweaty a hand,
how much a ring on a finger
could feel like a wart,
how beautiful I would never be,
or tall, how pale an ailing sky,
how feathery the thorns,
how geometrical and black
like arms held up in horror,
or surrender, the branches
of the monkey puzzle.


Thanks to those who showed concern at the possible sinking of the east coast of New Zealand by a tsunami. It appears the size of the tsunami's wash upon our shores was nothing to the effect of the reports from the BBC and the CCN on a sleeping New Zealand.

NZ Civil Defence personnel had been informed 15 minutes after the initial warning report was issued from Hawaii, that there was in fact no threat, and so they toddled off to their beds assured that all was well. HOWEVER the BBC and CCN weren't as informed. So how were the inhabitants of Gisborne, NZ to know which was the correct version? The combined overseas TV reports with the worried midnight phone calls from Northern Hemisphere friends and relatives? Or the silence from the Civil Defence? Better to hedge your bets, fill up the car with petrol and drive to higher ground.

All hell broke loose in the morning once NZ woke to find that there MIGHT have been a tsunami and the Civil Defence guys had failed to let us know that there MIGHT have been a tsunami. Go figure!

I'm with the Civil Defence guys - how could they have predicted the effect of over-reactive, overseas TV news reports and worried midnight phone calls? But rest assured, from now on Civil Defence will not be caught napping! Plans have been put into place this very day in order to make sure that next time there might have been a tsunami, people will be informed that there might have been a tsunami - even if they have to be woken up in order to be told! Aint life grand?


Lynn said...

The media's always messing things up.

This is a fantastic poem. What do I like about it? The phrase "an ailing sky" and your description of the tree, "like arms held up in horror, or surrender." I also love the word monkey, so any piece of writing that incorporates it is a winner in my book.

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

I agree with lynn.. :-) you cannot trust the media.

Loved your poem.

GreenishLady said...

Enjoyed the poem greatly - the way it progresses phrase to phrase and comes to that wonderful image of the arms - Strong stuff. Thank you.

Deb R said...

I really like your poem, especially the end - the image of the branches...wonderful.

I love your bird photos below too! One of my best friends lives in NZ and has been trying to get a good photo of a tui on her walks, but hasn't had much luck.

Clare said...

Yes, I agree with other comments - this poem really builds in strength - those last four lines really vivid and evocative, and I love the contradiction in 'how feathery the thorns'.

Glad to hear you're OK!

Belle said...

Hi, Chief B.

Enjoyed the poem.
Interesting bird selection and so different from the birds that I am familiar with.
I will be putting up my contribution of birds soon. I am honored also to be tagged by you.
I am off now to read your post about your trip.

Belle said...

It sounds so trite you say "glad you are safe" but really I am!

chiefbiscuit said...

Hi Lynn - So encouraging and so specific - thank you, thank you. It means a lot.

Hi Cyn - Thanks. As i noted - better to trust the radio operators any day1 Thanks for comment rre poem.

greenishlady - Love your blog! Thans fo ryour comments. I'm really chuffed.

debr - Thanks. Glad you dropped in. I think both your quilting and your poettry k.a.!!

Clare - Thanks for your comments and your concern. :)

Belle - Hi Belle! Looking forward to that 'bird blog'!! I am posting the four-things blog this weekend sometime. Thanks too for your concern.

chiefbiscuit said...

Sorry you guys for all the errors - what sloppy commenting!! I'm so tired; it's Friday night here ...

Bogart said...

I liked the poem and the images it provoked. I especially liked "I discovered how sweaty a hand,
how much a ring on a finger
could feel like a wart,
how beautiful I would never be,"
I work away from home Tues - Fri. and don't have my computer here. I have to use my friends "old" puter. It is low on space, so I will do my Bird blog this weekend at home on my new (cough) XPS400!

Bogart said...

I did post a poem, but it was late , so is an old one and rather bad.

chiefbiscuit said...

Hi bogart - Wow! I'm off to read that poem - and Wow that puter sounds state of the art!! And wow am I looking forward to the bird blog!!!

mcdinzie said...

yes we live and breath us all if it should happen one day!!!

mcdinzie said...

Oh and your poem is very good too, can just see you as a eager young girl twrilling around

Catherine said...

I'm so glad I slept through the tsunami nonsense! Though I think we are too far from the sea to bother about evacuating.
The best place to see a tui is the Karori Wildlife Reserve in Wellington. Unfortunately my cheap digital camera has limited zoom, but I think I could have done it easily with my husband's 10X zoom job, and if I'd been there at feeding time they would have been even closer.

Endment said...

Thanks for the update to let us know that all is well with you!

chiefbiscuit said...

Hi Catherine - Another kiwi!!! Another poet!!! Hey that is exciting stuff! Where I was nannying last year in Dunedin - NEV - there were tuis all over the place, but I never had a camera to take a piccie! We are not the owners of a digital yet - but I am finding the old Pentax KM a good next best thing - even if the instant photos aren't an option. Flickr is a good source for emergencies - such as tags!

Hi Endment - Yes, thanks, all is very well. :)

chiefbiscuit said...

Hi McDinzie - Sorry I didn't see you there before! Get in touch - I want to know the latest goss. Yes you would know what that girl under the monkey puzzle looked like I guess - glasses and freckles, her eager expression tinged by worry.

liz elayne said...

the sweaty hand...the ring...this put me right there into this moment.
i can't wait to read glad you have joined Poetry Thursday!

Camille said...

Hey Bisquit!

I love the monkey puzzle tree reference at the end. We have them here in Calli, too. I had no idea they grew other places. I love your botanical references!

chiefbiscuit said...

Hi Lizelayne - thank you so much!

Camille - Y Merci Beaucoup - or as we say over here - Mercy Buckets!


'how this all harbours light'