Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fleeting Mock Orange Blossoms and Haiku 575 Phone Trivia

The last mock orange blossoms for the season.

Everything is transient.  Even though Maui weather is still mostly sunny, we are entering the season when even dryer upcountry areas like Pukalani and Haliimaile are visited by more rain showers. 

The mock orange started blooming profusely about two weeks ago. The intoxicating and heady scent of small fragrant flowers drifted around the mock orange trees and shrubs and even filled the air inside the car as I drove by. Every time I passed the mock orange trees at the old Baldwin Estate on Haiku Road, I thought, "Oh, I need to stop and take a picture of the white flowers falling on the road."  They were picturesque, like drifts of snow covering the ground on a winter day. 

Well, I didn't take the picture soon enough, and about a week ago, the peak blossom season had ended. Instead of a picture with masses of white flowers lining the roadway, I have a picture of mostly withered flowers.  Mock orange season was short, poignant, and fleeting, like a Japanese haiku.

The inspiration for a poem last week,
flurries of once white and fragrant mock orange flowers lining the road.

By the way, here's a random piece of Maui trivia. The town of Haiku, Maui, which properly should be spelled Ha'iku with the Hawaiian " 'okina" or glottal stop/apostrophe, does not refer to the Japanese style of poetry called haiku. Japanese haiku are short poems, often about nature, that are 3 lines long. The first line is 5 syllables, the second line is 7 syllables, and the third line is 5 syllables. The trivia part is that the phone prefix for Ha'iku on Maui is also "5 7 5."  Whoever set up the phone prefixes for Maui had a sense of humor.

Here is a Ha'iku inspired haiku for the day:

Oh, five seven five
Fragrant mock orange blossoms
I blinked and missed them.

Well, I do have pictures of mock orange berries. 

Mock orange berries

Flowers last week, berries this week.

Another opportunity for a spontaneous haiku as I count syllables on my finger tips:

Oh five seven five
Where have all the flowers gone?
All pau! Berries now.

P.S. Pau means "it's over."  This haiku is more expressive if you can mimic a local accent for the last line.

Ha'iku, according to my Hawaiian dictionary, is the name of the Kahili flower, Grevillea banksii. I've also learned something for the day.


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