Time for a tanka

So omicron has escaped our border controls and found its way into the community. It was only a matter of time.

As a sensible response the whole of New Zealand is at the red level of life. This means masking up, getting booster vaxxed as soon as we become eligible, scanning in and limiting gathering sizes. Hopefully these measures will ensure the peak is manageable and we don’t have people dying because hospitals have no capacity to treat them. #teamof5million

On a more delightful note, I have kererū living in my backyard (kererū is pronounced keh-reuh-roo) . These majestic birds are called the New Zealand pigeon in English. They are incredibly large and beautifully coloured. In honour of our resident kererū I wrote a tanka today from the perspective of a kōwhai tree (kōwhai is pronounced kor-phi). My neighbours’ kōwhai are planted along the boundary of our properties so I get the benefit of the trees and any visitors they attract.

Side note: in te reo Maori there is no equivalent of plurals. So you can have one kōwhai or two kōwhai or how many kōwhai you can count.

For information both the bird and tree species, the Department of Conversation have a great website: https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-animals/birds/birds-a-z/nz-pigeon-kereru/ and https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-plants/kowhai/

The capers in my branches
kererū fly in
jostling each other to reach
the best of my fruit
as I sway with the breezes
I'm where I will always be
New Zealand Department of Conservation image. https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-animals/birds/birds-a-z/nz-pigeon-kereru/

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