Manaia

This post is a really a continuation of my previous post about a couple of pendants of sentimental value which I had lost…and found. You can read it by scrolling down on my home page.

One of the pendants was a black design which appeared to have some ethnic symbolism and ‘spoke’ to me; indeed when I was first given it by my daughter I wore it all the time. It had come from New Zealand and although I wasn’t totally convinced I had decided it may have been made of plastic as it had a vaguely plastic-like feel to it. The reason was that I didn’t know what else it could be and when I wore it against my skin in bright sunshine it got very hot and seemed to burn. This was when I started to wear it less often. It turns out I had misjudged it’s composition.

After reading my post my wonderful daughter-in-law was intrigued enough to try to find out more about it from the Internet – something that hadn’t occurred to me to do, not being of the ‘Internet generation’; I wouldn’t have had any idea how to start looking! She found exactly the same pendant design available from a company called Mountain Jade in New Zealand. It turns out that it is hand carved from rare Australian Black Jade, jade being a semi-precious stone. I had never heard of black jade before and didn’t know jade could be anything other than green. When I compared it to some green jade that I have it did indeed feel the same – a little bit, but not entirely like plastic or some sort of resinous material.

The Mountain Jade website lists the pendant as being a Manaia Necklace. It goes on to explain that it is indeed symbolic. The Manaia apparently is a guardian representing balance and protection. The head of a bird, body of a man and tail of a fish represent sky, earth and sea. Some of the Manaia designs are more detailed so the explanation continues that the three fingers (which don’t seem to appear on the design like mine) signify birth, life and death. It connects the earthly and spirit worlds.

Representing balance and protection, connecting the earthly and spirit worlds – no wonder I was drawn to it. Now I am wearing it again and will be more careful not to lose it in the future.

If you wish to find out more about Australian Black Jade and Manaia jewellery (this one is also made in green jade and there are several other designs) then check out the website at Mountain Jade.

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Another Quote

“We have come to see ourselves as lords and masters of the Earth,
entitled to plunder her at will. The sickness evident in the soil,
in the water, in the air and in all forms of life are symptoms
that reflect the violence present in our hearts. We have forgotten
that we ourselves are dust of the Earth; that we breathe her air
and receive life from her waters.”

Pope Francis, 2015

Late Flush

The recent rains have brought
a late flush of summer green.
Parched earth replenished.
Mother Nature self-restores.

Relief

Cool and overcast,
after rain overnight.
The earth breathes a sigh
of relief, drinks thirstily
and pleads for more.

Spring Englyn

Snowdrops now their dainty heads show, green stems
extend through cloak of snow.
Signs of Spring; we watch them grow.

Following soon come tulips fair, and bold
gold daffodils bloom where
now the ground is dark and bare.

The seasons are changing, the sun returns
and warms the earth, to shun
Winter’s grip; her battle won.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Whilst looking for something else on the Internet I came across the Englyn form. This is, I understand, an old Bardic poetic form and I thought it would be fun to try to write one. As you can see the form consists of  3-line stanzas. It is a syllable counting form with lines of 10, 6 and 7 syllables respectively. That’s the easy bit!

The rhyme pattern requires end rhymes of AAA. However, (and this is where it gets complicated) the end rhyme of the first line isn’t actually at the end; it can be one, two or three syllables in from the end and the sound of the syllables after the rhyming word are echoed at the beginning of the following line.

You will see I have cheated a bit here, my echoes are not exact, making use of near rhymes and slant rhymes – green stems/extend (Stanza 1),  returns/and warms (stanza 3) and missing out one element in stanza 2 – and bold/gold.

Spring Quotation

“Spring has returned. The Earth
is like a child that knows poems.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

After Rain

After rain on parched earth
calm, silent and humid day.
Where are the birds?
They have not come to the feeders.

Summer Days

How quickly summer days
retreat to memory.
While still the earth wears green,
no leaves yet turned,
the heavens mourn its passing
with frantic tears.

Suspended

Suspended…
by an invisible thread,
hanging…
in the air above my head,
a leaf freed from the tree
yet unable to fly,
nor yet to fall
to earth
to die.

Kenyan Proverb

“Treat the earth well…
It was not given to you by your parents,
it was lent to you by your children.”

Kenyan Proverb

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