Monday, September 15, 2008


Spring must be on its way. I snapped this Tui in our Kowhai tree just before our redoubtable cat Zebby scared it away with one of her searing 'I am going to eat you' stares.
This poem is one of my favourites:
KOWHAI - By A. R. D. Fairburn
When the candles burn again in the kowhai tree,
I shall return, remembering older springs
when the sky was a blue pool where dreamily
clouds floated like silver swans with folded wings.
I shall return, remembering how Love
fulfils in the spring her immortal trust,
and builds her leafy temple in the kowhai grove,
scorning the dull remonstrance of the dust.
I shall lie on the cliffs under the small gold flowers,
and smell wild honeysuckle, and hear the chime
of waves, like bells ringing in the shadowy towers
of some grey village of the olden time.
I shall return, But oh, the spring will falter.....
yield her green faith to summer's unbelief,
and the kowhai will darken the candles on her altar,
and strew on the grey winds her golden grief.


Katherine said...

Lovely post... Kowhai - yellow butter on a blue plate, accompanied by the gulps and glottal stops of Tui...Spring!

Tillerman said...

Yes, Tuis in the flax bushes and the Kowhai trees - one of the lovely signs of a New Zealand Spring.

"gulps and glottal stops of Tui... Spring" - what a good description :-)