Dear Friends and followers of my blog,
Re: Poems from the Cederberg
Every years in November I am invited to the Cederberg mountains in the Cape by the Diocesan College Epic programme. My particular task is to take groups of grade 10s, about 15 in a group, on a trail through the Bushmen caves near a place called Elisabeth Fontein. It is called the Sevilla Trail and there are 10 rock art sights. I have written about the trail in a previous blog: https://wp.me/p51XOn-Fn
This year I was moved to write a few poems which I share with you.
A tortoise came walking
I sat in the cool of the morning
reading my book
and a tortoise came walking past
Along a line of a Cederberg bush
over-seared by the sun
but keeping their dignity
The creature took no notice of me
as it made its way prodding its head
working its legs in the dust of the day
pausing to examine minutae
or munch some seed for sweetness
Then, between the pause of my page
in a moment of gazing
it was gone into the dry bush
with a jaunty stride on its meander.
Images thanks to pexels-ankit-patel-14665073 Below pexels-kristian-thomas-13016795
It was sudden
on our path
from a shady rock
to our right
the speed of sight
in the seconds of a wink
I and the boy pulling back
to the flash of the cobra
“A black spitting cobra”,
from the mouth of the boy
It seemed to rise up
to float on the air
a spiralling coil
in fearful waves.
We drew back.
The other boys came.
The snake recoiled,
into the shadow’s blackness
They missed everything.
Our story forever,
a spitting black cobra
moments of fear,
A moment of sudden beauty
In its shiny blackness
And lightness of being.
The wind thrumming and
wheezing through the trees
Rattling the seed pods while the sun
bursts and pops them open
Gravity pulls them downwards
but the wind plays with them
pushes them, pulls at them and tumbles them
to the ground to cover them with
dust and dirt
All the little bushes are moving now
playing their own dry green tunes
In a chorus of wind rhapsodies
Then she comes again forcibly
Sing louder you choirs of blue-gums
Open your mouths in round voweled sounds
Let me hear your voices of jubilation
and the murmurs of mourning your loves
on this wild day of my presence
shaking you into this new time
And new days of watchfulness
Fishing with the young boys
I went fishing with the boys today
I went fishing for the first time in my life
We had prepared the rods well before
and set the cute toy-fish to the tip of the rod,
a fish that would delight an infant
with its mellow springiness
One boy struggled with his rod,
so I gave him mine and watched them fish
on a landing that stretched into the lake
They were naturals in their casting
the exhileration of the cast and splash
of being the hunter in this game.
The shout of the bites
the drawing in of the lines
this time a multi-fin yellow Bass,
swinging in towards us,
then the struggle to remove the embedded hook
It seemed like ages,
the water lapping the wharf,
the fish struggling the fingers.
The boy and fish photographed,
the fish returned to the sea
I hoped alive
and wiser in chasing after such
neat-needled little toys
Fishing is not for me.
Image thanks to pexels-the-lazy-artist-gallery-1569002
3 comments on “Poems from the Cederberg”
How delightful! Many thanks for those vivid poems, Bob.
Your creative juices are fully engaged Bob–fantastic Thank you
I loved your Cederberg poems Bob.