Please note that the poems and essays on this site are copyright and may not be reproduced without the author's permission.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Happiness, or the Jacaranda Tree


Jacaranda tree in flower in Whakatāne, New Zealand
: photo by Kahuroa, 12 December 2006

.........................................for Angelica

It's too late, and there are such great
Obstacles, there were always great obstacles;
At least they once seemed common, that was a relief,
So long ago, in that other now barely remembered

Place; now so difficult to recall, in which

It seemed we were somehow free 
Deluded as we were by dreams, by foolishness, youth --
By the mysterious illusion of being permitted

To do as we wished and chose -- to look beyond
Ourselves, to see what there was
To do, and to do it, or not, as the time arose;
And then, done, or not done, equally, know

It would in any event soon be over; and then
We would forget; the days would again begin,
Pass gently by, and end; in the late light
We could at last step back, draw a long deep breath,

Take in the surroundings, enjoy
The wonders of the view
From beneath the pleasant, peaceful, sheltering
Light-filtering violet shade of the lovely

Spreading, flowering jacaranda tree.

Landscape in Upper Austria
: photo by Werner100359, 18 December 2010


Susan Kay Anderson said...

Every time I see one or see this cornflower blue color, I'll think of you and her.

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

One marvelous sentence comprising one wondrous poem dedicated to the one you love—awe inspiring.



Hold it, not quite " -- there's this poem, and the sense of lifetime passing in an eyeblink (from "Jacaranda tree in flower in . . . New Zealand" to "Landscape in Upper Austria"). . . .


grey whiteness of clouds above shadowed
plane of ridge, red-tailed hawk calling
in foreground, wave sounding in channel

not in the first place, nor
from these ‘outlines’

no less than from the above,
as then, at that time

orange circle of sun rising above ridge,
cloud moving toward moon across from it

aditya said...


One marvelous sentence indeed. And an impeccable structure which conveys.

Happiness, or the Jarcanda Tree


But at the same time I'm quite/quietly troubled by what is (not) an inscrutable assuagement (know/ It would in any event ..)

aditya said...

Julia said...

I love it! And yes, it's a fantastic line "Hapiness, or the jacarandá tree". I feel the same when they are flowering around here.

TC said...

Many thanks, friends.

The photos with this post are associated with the dedicatee, who grew up in New Zealand, whence her parents had emigrated, under duress of war, from Austria.

The "place" to which it refers is a small village in Northern California, a bucolic, ragged sort of little place at the time referenced here, now a resort enclave of the very rich... with a few surviving stragglers of the earlier, here remembered time.

A friend of this blog, Brad Johnson of Departure Delayed, reports trouble with the word verification device. (It's a silly bit of tech defense deployed here -- and at most other blogs -- solely to intercept spam; if anybody else is having problems with it, let me know and I'll cut the hose to its module.)

Here, anyway, for the record, is what Brad kindly said (8:21 PM, 1/19/12):

Hi Tom,

The word verification function on your blog was giving me all sorts of fits tonight, so I thought I'd just send you a quick email indicating my thoughts about your poem. I was esp. struck by the penultimate stanza because it brings such joy to the eye and ear: "It would in any event soon be over; and then / We would forget; the days would again begin, / Pass gently by, and end; in the late light / We could at last step back, take a long deep breath,"

A poem within a poem, this here. Caught & collected mid-stream . . .

Robb said...

Tom, this is wonderful, beautiful. Last night I thought of you and her. I was standing with my girlfriend in front of the church in the East Village.


Anonymous said...


TC said...

Robb, Sandra, many thanks!

Robb, excuse me if I've told you this before, but, we actually got married at St Marks Church, March 1968 -- a different geological epoch of course... but thanks for the memory, you've actually managed to bring me back into the church.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Fine, fine, Tom - both tree and words. The mingling of sadness and joy is simply, poignantly true.

And Brad has a keen eye ... thanks for appending his words.


TC said...

And thank you, Don, O my keen-eyed friend.

TC said...


We here, and some other bloggers who visit here, have lately encountered problems with the word verification function, preventing our leaving our humble comments at each other's places.

No big deal, in a way, but then again -- care is taken, and wasted if lost.

It's been happening to me at Aditya's place as well, and the nature of the problem is such that I haven't been able to relay messages to him.

Nin Andrews has also been having this problem. She & I have now removed the dread WV machine from our blogs.

Just so you know -- and though to others who haven't visited your post, this may make no sense -- here is a comment I tried unsuccessfully to leave at your post, Scott Watson / Heart Sutra

TC said...

Death, so ordinary
Compassion, so rare

Awaiting the spring blossoms
& the cessation of pain --

no greater than any other thing --
a dear friend's

quiet chuckling

January 21, 2012 12:00 PM

. said...


TC said...

Many thanks, Leigh.

(Thought of you at the weekend when Giggs rolled back the years and crossed for the equaliser. Would that we all might defy Time so adroitly!)

. said...

I've wondered a few times if you've been following the premier league this year, Tom. It's been one of the most exciting seasons (so far) in its relatively short history, albeit due in part to some very dodgy defending and I won't even start about the steady rise on rise of prima donnas hurling themselves expertly to the ground whenever anyone breezes by. Regarding Giggs, on the pitch at least, he continues to shine. And it's good to see the little ginger terrier back aswell. I've missed his late tackles and that arms raised innocent look :)

TC said...


Well. I have been looking in, yes.

For me the light came back into the side this season with the ginger lad, however dodgy a gamble he may now be -- the belief, the inspiration, the motor.

And when Hernández entered on Sunday, immediately getting in behind the tired defenders, working one-twos with the tireless Rooney -- a sight to refresh the memory of a year ago.

And then Giggs' ball in to the Mexican, a classic leaper and header of the ball, wonderful.

Not to mention young De Gea turning up for the first time all season, saving the day -- not once but twice.

Let it be hoped there is to be more of this, in them all...