On the Occasion of a Pelican’s Vigil

Music in the grove
Breeze dances through the willows
In blossoms bees stir
From the vigil endeavoured
Behold the fledgling arise
Sugawara no Tokihira

Liner notes:

This poem is meant to evoke images of spring. Light breezes, blossoms, insects, young birds, and outdoor parties are all associated with spring. In a second layer of meaning, there is references to the event, Terpsichore at the Tower, which is devoted to dance and music. In addition, a person was put on vigil for her Pelican, the highest level award for service. Since she is partial to bees, which are symbols of hard work, spring, and dancing, they are a perfect glue to bind the poem together. In fact, they feature in a kakekotoba (pivot): bees stir is a “homophone” for “bestir.”

The form is waka, Japanese in origin with a 5-7-5-7-7 pattern of syllables.  Event held 26th day of 2nd month, AS XLVII. This poem was composed for the Pentamere Pilgrimage Challenge, the third poem in the series; in addition, Calum has written an amusing take on his experiences at an event.


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