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Faux Pas

Catullus 101

Multas per gentes et multa per aequora vectus

Carried through many nations and over many seas

advenio has miseras, frater, ad inferias,

I arrived, brother, for these wretched funeral rites

ut te postremo donarem munere mortis

So that I might present you with the last tribute of death

et mutam nequiquam alloquerer cinerem.

and speak in vain to silent ash,

Quandoquidem fortuna mihi tete abstulit ipsum.

Since fortune has carried away from me you in the flesh

Heu miser indigne frater adempte mihi,

Atlas, poor brother, unfairly taken away from me,

nunc tamen interea haec, prisco quae more parentum

now in the meantime, nevertheless, these things which in the ancient custom of ancestors

tradita sunt tristi munere ad inferias,

are handed over as a sad tribute to the rites

accipe fraterno multum manantia fletu,

receive, dripping much with brotherly weeping.

atque in perpetuum, frater, ave atque vale.

And forever, brother, hail and farewell.

Adonais written by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ode to the Hibiscus Bush

(Horatian Ode in Iambic Pentameter with ababcdecde Rhyme Scheme)

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The tranquility of valley and hills,
Allows the mind to wander like the clouds,
Above the tree tops with their many thrills,
As nervous leaves rustle in mystic shrouds.
They shadow time each passing day anew,
And patiently wait for the rising sun,
To fill their chlorophyll sacs to the brim;
They thirst for summer rains and morning dew,
To spark their blooms before the day is done,
With Hawaiian pride that glows from each limb.

There are gardens ablaze with rainbow hue;
Around mansions tall and at cottage doors,
Bringing hope to the soul with every view,
These gems of nature, everyone adores
The blooms of hibiscus, across the land,
Are apparels of celestial light!
Heavenly bliss wrapped up in each flower;
Displays the glory of God’ master plan;
For we are never alone in His sight,
And each flower that opens shows His power.

It is not uncommon to see, intense
Malvaceae plants, like rails on display,
As growing walls of glamorous defence!
The privacy of folks sustained each day,
From prying eyes, this veil of green and blooms,
Provokes no scorn but deep admiration;
Hibiscus fences do make good neighbours,
Their funnel shaped flowers craft grand costumes,
And do arouse an investigation,
Into their floral extract and colours.

Their calypso tones, you know very well;
With petals of exaggerated pride,
And self-confidence, does within them dwell;
For their Latin roots are not brushed aside,
So the scentless hibiscus, we respect
Their photosynthesizing in the light,
As growers do hybrid engineering,
So their shades and sizes become perfect,
With petals of culinary delight;
No wonder, folks find them mesmerising.

From Asia, and the Pacific islands,
Hibiscus bush! You have roamed from your home;
To Hawaii, the Caribbean lands,
And Whangaparaoa’s rich coastal loam,
There you blossom truly with little care,
To flaunt your deep green leaves, and lavish hues,
In sub-tropical breeze and torrid peeves;
Single or double petals, as you choose
From your many species, you wear with flair;
The ant cuddles up to your feet, and leaves.

Humming birds with branching turns, pirouette,
To catch pollen dust, from your golden-wand;
More alluring, and bright than a rosette,
And your therapeutic worth is so fond.
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about your bush,
Of heart disease, cholesterol and tea,
And how hibiscus takes fat from the tush
In China lands, and in the West Indies!
What glint of truth, is in any of these
Herbal cook ups, served from a potpourri?

©Paterika Hengreaves
On the well kept grounds of Erdiston Teachers’ Training College, Barbados are to be found lovely hibiscus hedges. These malvaceae plants are found elsewhere where the climate is conducive to their growing ways. Never thought that the hibiscus with their environmental appeal would play an important role in helping me to decide which place to stay during my travels abroad. We are always faced with strange surprises.

The flight from the tiny Caribbean island half-way round the world caused me to take three stop overs. The first stop was Miami, the second stop was Los Angeles and the final destination point was Auckland. It was a pleasant half-hour drive from the Auckland International Airport to the Kiwi International Hotel where I got the much needed sleep and to recover from jet lag having crossed so many time zones. Next day I took off by motor car and drove north in search of a place to call my temporary home. I stumbled on a beautiful view that reminded me so very much of the coastal areas of Christ Church, Barbados. There and then, I knew I had found my watering hole, lol that carries the name of floral hedge I alluded you to in my opening paragraph. It took my heart. Yes, the name gave me that warm feeling in the dead of a New Zealand winter where I found myself.

Yes, there is a place called Hibiscus Coast in the northern end of Auckland in northern New Zealand on the stretch of the Hauraki Gulf coast with beautiful beaches. Hibiscus Coasts runs from the Whangaparaoa Peninsula towards Kawau Island. Its main town is Orewa with spectacular vegetation all around, rolling hills, fauna, great malls and beaches. No regrets whatsoever for having found that area in “The Land of the Long White Cloud” in the Rodney District. I could not have selected a better place for I got the best of both worlds...a touch of Barbados and Kiwi hospitality. This moment had to be captured, so I took out my musing pad and wrote this poem to capture the beauty of a flower that played a key role in helping me to make up my mind on the place to stay and truly it deserves to be the emblem of the Hibiscus Coast in New Zealand.


Bob McKerrow said...

Kia Ora Paterika

I was so happy to see you posting again on your blog and it is such fragant poem. The Hibiscus is such a beautiful flower and desrves more odes. It is the first time I have read an Horatian Ode in Iambic Pentameter with ababcdedce. Look forward to more gems from you in the months ahead.


Ruahines said...

Kia ora Paterika,
So happy to read and hear you again. Well worth the wait, and kia ora. I wish I could see you do a reading. It is certainly winter here in Aotearoa now! A cold wintry storm is blowing through and I am going to curl up in front of the fire with some Wordsworth. Hope all is well Paterika and like Bob I always look forward to reading your gems. Have a lovely day.

Marja said...

Wow your words are so beautiful and the hibiscus totally deserving of these words. Do I understand that right Is there a Christchurch in Barbados as well. Thanks you for for letting me drift away on your words to the beauty of this world


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In plenty and in time of need
When this fair land was young
Our brave forefathers sowed the seed
From which our pride was sprung
A pride that makes no wanton boast
Of what it has withstood
That binds our hearts from coast to coast
The pride of nationhood


We loyal sons and daughters all
Do hereby make it known
These fields and hills beyond recall
Are now our very own
We write our names on history's page
With expectations great
Strict guardians of our heritage
Firm craftsmen of our fate

The Lord has been the people's guide
For past three hundred years.
With Him still on the people's side
We have no doubts or fears.
Upward and onward we shall go,
Inspired, exulting, free,
And greater will our nation grow
In strength and unity.


We loyal sons and daughters all
Do hereby make it known
These fields and hills beyond recall
Are now our very own
We write our names on history's page
With expectations great
Strict guardians of our heritage
Firm craftsmen of our fate

The tree that gave Barbados its name

Independent Barbados Shelved Guy Fawkes Night

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Didactic Poetry is intended to convey instruction and
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the mode and features of imaginative works by infusing knowledge in a variety of forms such as dramatic poetry, satire, parody, among others. There is the popular view that allegory, aphorisms, apologues, fables, gnomes and proverbs are specific types of Didactic Poetry because of their close affinity.

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Thank God only minor damage has been caused by this 7.0 Earthquake in New Zealand's North and South Islands.

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National Anthems of New Zealand

Anthem 1

Māori Version

E Ihowā Atua,
O ngā iwi mātou rā
Āta whakarangona;
Me aroha noa
Kia hua ko te pai;
Kia tau tō atawhai;
Manaakitia mai

Ōna mano tāngata
Kiri whero, kiri mā,
Iwi Māori, Pākehā,
Rūpeke katoa,
Nei ka tono ko ngā hē
Māu e whakaahu kē,
Kia ora mārire

Tōna mana kia tū!
Tōna kaha kia ū;
Tōna rongo hei pakū
Ki te ao katoa
Aua rawa ngā whawhai
Ngā tutū e tata mai;
Kia tupu nui ai

Waiho tona takiwā
Ko te ao mārama;
Kia whiti tōna rā
Taiāwhio noa.
Ko te hae me te ngangau
Meinga kia kore kau;
Waiho i te rongo mau

Tōna pai me toitū
Tika rawa, pono pū;
Tōna noho, tāna tū;
Iwi nō Ihowā.
Kaua mōna whakamā;
Kia hau te ingoa;
Kia tū hei tauira;

English Version

God of Nations at Thy feet,
In the bonds of love we meet,
Hear our voices, we entreat,
God defend our free land.
Guard Pacific's triple star
From the shafts of strife and war,
Make her praises heard afar,
God defend New Zealand.

Men of every creed and race,
Gather here before Thy face,
Asking Thee to bless this place,
God defend our free land.
From dissension, envy, hate,
And corruption guard our state,
Make our country good and great,
God defend New Zealand.

Peace, not war, shall be our boast,
But, should foes assail our coast,
Make us then a mighty host,
God defend our free land.
Lord of battles in Thy might,
Put our enemies to flight,
Let our cause be just and right,
God defend New Zealand.

Let our love for Thee increase,
May Thy blessings never cease,
Give us plenty, give us peace,
God defend our free land.
From dishonour and from shame,
Guard our country's spotless name,
Crown her with immortal fame,
God defend New Zealand.

May our mountains ever be
Freedom's ramparts on the sea,
Make us faithful unto Thee,
God defend our free land.
Guide her in the nations' van,
Preaching love and truth to man,
Working out Thy glorious plan,
God defend New Zealand.

Anthem 2

God Save the Queen

God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save The Queen.
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save The Queen.

O Lord our God, arise,
Scatter our enemies,
And make them fall;
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks;
On thee our hopes we fix:
God save us all.

Thy choicest gifts in store
On her be pleased to pour,
Long may she reign.
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice,
God save The Queen.

Note: The second verse of 'God Save The Queen' is commonly omitted.

Today's Featured Poem in Blank Form

Charlie Douglas
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