Tui: Bird of Adaption and Wit

There were three in one tree;

A banquet for a Tui.

Their beaks pushing through orange skin and juicy segments.

They did not expect a miracle.

But they made the most of it.


One sip and each a returnee.

Then another flew in.

Each bird ate in abundance and sang his happy clements

To the street: atypical,

None of them ready to quit.


They made of it a jubilee;

Their ample afternoon hui.

While we watched; marvelling at such different refreshments.

To your stories allegorical

The Tui’s adaption and wit.


Honey-eaters: what the Puriri?

Will Tui now be queuing

For their new-found, sweet dripping citrus indulgence?

Two voice boxes sing the oracle.

In an orange tree three Tui sit.


Benita H. Kape (c) 5.1.2022

  • Tui – a New Zealand song bird. These birds amazingly have two voice boxes; very melodious.
  • Hui – Maori word for meeting
  • Puriri – a sweet flowering New Zealand native tree
  • The did not expect a miracle. Line from “Black Rook in Rainy Weather” by Sylvia Plath.
  • We are so used to seeing Tui, honey-eaters, in our sweet flowering natives. It was a surprise to find them in an orange tree having a feast. Glorious singing birds.

“Rimas Dissolutas” French Literature.

I followed the example given of Sylvia Plath’s “Black Rook in Rainy Weather.”

Quote: “A poem that rhymes and doesn’t rhyme. For instance, each stanza contains no end rhymes but each line in each stanza rhymes with the corresponding line in the next stanza – sometimes employing an envoi at the end.

Here’s how the end rhymes would work in a Rimas Dissolutas with five line stanzas.

(1-a,2-b, 3-c, 4-d, 5-e) (6-a, 7-b, 8-c, 9-d, 10-e) (11-a, 12-b, 13-c, 14-d, 15-e)

There are no rules for metre, line length, or syllables – except it should be consistent from stanza to stanza.” ends quote.


Nail Air and Bone: Day 29.4.2018 NaPoWriMo – nearly there April.

window seat


Sylvia Plath wrote a poem about cutting off the tip of her thumb and that poem appears in Ariel. I’ve used the style she used for that poem. My poem may seem long but the stanzas are very short; the best way to write such an incident.  I titled my ‘thumb’ poem “Your Baby Thumb”. Not the kind of poem one expects to write for a three-year-old. There was no hinge by which the lid, when raised, would stay up of its own accord. Plus such lids are a hefty weight to come down on a little thumb resting on an opposite ledge. Another reason I called my poem “Your Baby Thumb” is because this thumb never gained its full adult length. I’ve seen some weird analysis of Plath’s poem, which incidentally is named “Cut”. None of that there here. Straight forward narrative is what I’ve gone for.


Your Baby Thumb

for: Sue


A child at play

a window seat lid

a slam, a scream.


No blood!

My own body

seems bereft of it too.


Look. This is what

you will see.

A mother’s quick searching


for a nobble of flesh;

among the boxes and books

in the cavern of a window seat.


Wrapped in clean cloth

a small hand

all that is left


above the top knuckle

of the child’s right thumb

is nail, air and bone.


And it was

never straight to A&E

first the GP


quick examination

and his nurse’s phone call

for a taxi.


Limp child in my arms —

through  tears

I stand on the edge


of the footpath

troubled I’d not found

that bulb of missing thumb half


but I’d had

no time to lose.

Kindness now pushes


it’s face

in my direction;

a stranger on the street.


Could she help?

Thank you, thank you

I explained as the taxi arrived.


I seem like

the child now

fainted away.


My child rushed

to theatre;

and what remains


of that small thumb

is stitched to the padding

in the palm of her hand


under her third finger.

It was Christmas

and our little girl



thumb to palm stitched.

We visited.


Few children in the ward

that week,

but there was our


little accident prone,

survivor  daughter

defending herself


bashing any boy

who caused

her annoyance


with –

You guessed it!

Her roundly bandaged arm.


Whack, whack.


The tiny bulb

of dying thumb

was found.


Oh Sylvia.


I would never

let you write

about that.


Benita Kape © 29.4.2018

NaPoWriMo 2018 image




And now for our daily prompt (optional, as always). Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem based on the Plath Poetry Project’s calendar. Simply pick a poem from the calendar, and then write a poem that responds or engages with your chosen Plath poem in some way.

Happy writing!



The Kind of Farm I had in Mind


I guess it’s too late to live on a farm.

I guess I’d want to go south for a farm.

I guess, the land is much better down there.

I guess I could start with stock and move on to crops.

I guess I would have to purchase a bitch or two.

I guess I want dogs that are already trained.

I guess I could cope with delivering a litter, be it dogs, pigs, cows, or cats.

I guess a farm isn’t a farm without a stray cat or two.

I guess I’ll have to contend with rats or keep the cats hungry.

I guess a farmer needs a good breakfast.

I guess that means eggs for eggs over easy; so add in the hens.

And because we already have the porkers there’ll be bacon for breakfast,

Though top of a farmer’s dinner menu might well be spiced belly of pork.

There’ll be none of that watching TV Bake Of programmes when I’m down on the farm.

In the orchard we’ll have apples to go with the pork. And peaches or kiwifruit for desert.

And inspectors will advise the confines for the blackberries of the non-prickly sort.

And I guess for a time, Sylvia was a farmer but rather than rave about how’s y’ Father I shall rave for more care of our environment.

I don’t know too many poets in my neck of proposed woods who have the time to be farmers.

And I imagine, as Sylvia no doubt did, I’ll work hard at the farming and harder still at the poetry.

Good excuse, or poor for not farming, but it will do for me.

I guess though, my poor little cottage wouldn’t realise a fraction of the real I might need

for the kind of farm I had in mind.

Benita H. Kape © 1.4.2015