In relation to the previous poem “black diving”:

For anyone who does not know – and there may be many of you outside New Zealand – a tui is a bird about the size of a pigeon. On the day of this poem, from a short distance, the tui I saw stood out black against the mist.

But their beautiful dark glossy plumage, shines in the right light with the colours of a paua shell, greens, blues, and purple. White tufts at the throat, and white wisps around the neck.

They live in the bush reserve near my house, swooping and diving among the trees. They call invisibly among the branches, warbling and squawking and trilling.

Some have learnt to imitate sounds they hear in their environment, and can make calls like phones ringing, or kettles whistling, and occasionally even people.

IMG_0980 copy© Claire Griffin 2016

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