Honey harvest

The beekeeper arrived, unannounced on December 19, and harvested honey for us, leaving it in a big bucket for us to dispense into jars which Haiku Son and I duly did, Haiku Husband being away for a couple of days (he’d done it by himself last year).

As a two-person operation it all went quite smoothly – he operated the dispensing nozzle while I held the jars underneath and called ‘stop’. We finished with a couple of empty jars to spare, whew, and not too much sticky mess to clean up.

sunlit jar
the beekeeper’s gift
on the doorstep

– Carmen Sterba
The Heron’s Nest 3:6 (2001)

Photo: Sandra Simpson

on the honey
a slight scent of the forest — 
lengthening daylight

– Tsugawa Eriko, tr Kato Koko
A Vast Sky: An anthology of contemporary world haiku (Tancho Press, 2015)

I spent a couple of days tasting the honey, trying to work out what it tasted of, if anything in particular, but no such luck. A bit of a fizz on the tongue, though, that’s about the best specific I can do.

Oh, yes, 10kg, same as last year!

honey bee –
at last the budding weeds
have meaning

– Ben Moeller-Gaa
Mystic Illuminations 3 (2016)

The bees are smoked to keep them quiet. Photo: Sandra Simpson

on hold with the help desk a sound of bees swarming 

– Sandra Simpson
Presence 51 (2014)

end of a love
honey hardens
in the jar

– Polona Oblak
Notes from the Gean 3:4 (2012)

Botan shibe fukaku wakeizuru hachi no nagori kana

A bee
staggers out
of the peony.

– Matsuo Basho, tr Robert Hass
Basho’s haiku originally from Skeleton in the Fields (Nozarashi kiko)
a travel journal of 1684-5

Another translation is:

from deep within 
the peony pistils — withdrawing
regretfully the bee

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Time for a cuppa

I don’t know who researches these things but apparently enough tea is drunk annually to reach to the Moon and back 12 times!

For a few years my preferred hot drink was hot water but, unless I’m at work out of the house, I’ve gone back to tea and when I’m at home can have several mugs a day in cold weather. As an aside, I’ve never drunk coffee except once, by accident, when I was too young and polite to say anything, yeuch (love the smell of it brewing though).

      friend’s funeral
      a stranger uses
      her teapot

– Nola Borrell, 2nd place, Katikati Haiku Contest, 2006

Nola prefers herbal teas (more properly tisanes) generally, a lemon and ginger being her favourite, but also drinks the well-known Earl Grey.

teapot

my teacup cooling
on the windowsill,
dark leaves of the magnolia

– Richard von Sturmer, Suchness: Zen poetry and prose (HeadworX, Wellington 2005)

 

steeping tea
the time it takes to lose a street
to snow

– Ben Moeller-Gaa, an editor’s choice in The Heron’s Nest, XV:2 (2013)

Ben is an American writer of haiku who prefers “an Irish Breakfast with just enough milk to turn the dark mug gold”. My favourite tipple is Lady Grey, weak and black, thanks. According to the link, I must have some Scandinavian blood because I too find Earl Grey bitter.

And, of course, we couldn’t have a posting about tea without something from “little cup of tea” himself, Issa.

.なの花に四ッのなる迄朝茶かな
na no hana ni yotsu no naru made asa cha kanaamid

rape flowers
till the ten o’clock bell …
morning tea

– translated by David Lanoue and from his Haiku of Kobayashi Issa website

Read more about tea in Japan here.