curved trumpets
heralding spring

The word Kowhai is the Maori name for yellow.  The Kowhai flowers in spring on bare branches, and James Cowan told of the Maori explanation of this in an article in the New Zealand Railways Magazine 1928.  I have written a condensed version below:

On the shore of a lake in the long ago times sat a young Maori man and maiden.  The man loved the maiden and asked to marry her, but she laughed and required him to carry out some great deed before she would become his wife.  The lover was an Ariki (chieftain) and tohunga.  Above them was a tree bare of both of flowers and leaf in the cold of early spring.  The young man recited a chant which caused the tree to burst forth into a blaze of golden blossom.  Ever since then the Kowhai has flowered on leafless branches as a sign and a reminder of his love. 


in the paddock
the harsh cry and whir
of a cock pheasant
startles the horse

Russia is bombing
the Syrian opposition
claiming the airspace
from America

sparrows squabble
in the nikau palms
and a wood pigeon
plunders the loquats

on our deck
a twice-chewed bone
that even the ants ignore

the dog sighs
and turns over

spring, it’s all about

© Maureen Sudlow