Not the Fire Monkey, not yet ... For the start of the Chinese Zodiak Year we have to wait to February 8, 2016. Officially we are still in the year of the Goat, after the years of Horse, Snake, Dragon, Rabbit, and Tiger, the last one back in 2010.
cutout the brilliance painted
on the black
Tiger Tiger. burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye.
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat.
What dread hand? & what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp.
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?
When the stars threw down their spears
And watered heaven with their tears:
Did he smile His work to see?
Did he who made the lamb make thee?
Tiger Tiger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
I find not-so-fearful symmetry in the burning melting golden leaves of the liquid amber tree, so similar to the maple, yet so different, with its colors from pale yellow, through orange, to scarlet, bronze and black purple.
the tree stretches
his leafy fingers to the sun
begging for light
In contrast, the symmetry of the cactus is quite fearful, indeed. Imagine falling on all those pricks and needles! That would not have been as comfortable as it might look, the barrels of cactus resembling puffy pillows...
a noon illusion -
spheres of the softest velvet
in the field of cactus
call of the Wild West -
bewitched by the turquoise sky
gold of the cactus
Some cactus fields at the Huntington Garden look sinister, ominous, as underwater seabeds, or twisted masses of snakes. Snakes with thorns, and evil teeth, straight from a Halloween movie set...
with spiky hairdos on the rocks
horror of horrors -
the twisted mass of nail-toothed limbs
a grey mutant rose
the agave opens its steel spiked petals
to pierce the light
where are thou,
my crocodile of sharp teeth
tears lying in wait?
stretch their scarlet tongues like flames
licking the white light
But all horrors pass, and so does the cactus garden ... I walk through a meadow to one of the most astounding and majestic trees I have ever seen, an eucalyptus reaching high, high, high into the sky. If I were a monkey, maybe I'd be able to climb up its smooth trunk. I can only look up from the ground, admire the multicolored bark. Imported from Australia, it lives in a foreign landscape.
tree bark canvas
records droughts and storms
above cough drops
eucalyptus leaves stretch up
to perfume the sky
A Tree Epiphany
~ for Kristin who saw a whale in a tree
I want the solid serenity of trees
the sighs of their boughs in the wind
the sighs of their boughs in the wind
roots reaching to the core of the earth
An oak perhaps, or a grand plane tree
that majestic one in Descanso Gardens
a whale of the tree, floating on waves of air
I could be, perhaps, that regal eucalyptus
with multicolored bark — a canvas for centuries
shedding memories of droughts and storms
Or liquid amber, oh my liquid amber
melting gold and bronze at my feet
nourishing the roots, seeds, new leaves
Wait for the sleeping earth to awaken
the boughs sigh in the northern wind
the roots reach deeper, still deeper
I adore the trembling of birches in the breeze,
whispering: quiet, quiet, now listen — before
leaves fall, bare branches shiver in the snow
Am I an apple tree, comely and fruitful
in an abandoned orchard by the crossroads
that shyly offers gifts to all passers-by?
I want the serenity of trees
to fill my heart with their sighs, with their
whispers, with their sleep.
(c) 2016 by Maja Trochimczyk
she said it's a whale
this grand plane tree with white bark
swimming in the air
with spotted whale's skin
half dove-grey, half steel, charcoal
the plane tree stands tall
I end the walk, admiring the symmetry of rose petals, and their burning flame in the afternoon sun.
symmetry of petals -
an incandescent rose flame
mirrors the sun
What a delight it is, and so much hard work of "rosarians" had gone into crafting the perfect rose flame, a rainbow of yellows, tangerines, and fuchsias ... It is a living flame of love, as St. John of the Cross would say...
I too have my perfect multicolor rose, mostly yellow, with touches of apricot and plum. The last survivor of the blight caused by weedkiller accidentally added to the soil...
gold petals unfold
the day fades into shadows -
my last winter rose
I picked the photograph and wrote the haiku for this haiga to give it out as a gift at the annual Southern California Haiku Study Group post-New Year party at Debbie Kolodji's welcoming house. A rose filled with light, yet speaking of shadows seemed a perfect choice for the year of the Fire Monkey. No, I could not write about monkeys, not even Shakespeare's Monkeys...
As a vain and energetic "Fire Rooster" I have great hopes for the year of the Fire. I will end this tour of the Huntington with a selfie among fuchsia and violet flowers. May your year of the Fire Monkey flower with positive energy and creativity!
Happy New Year 2016!