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Autumn kisses summer goodbye and winter’s icy fingers have not yet woken from their frozen sleep. My feet drag through morning kissed grass, promising wet sneakers and socks.

Two little dogs trip ahead, sniffing and exploring. I watch as a cormorant crash lands nearby. Objecting bitterly to this intrusion a flock of Canadian geese takes to the air, squawking and honking in fluent Geese Quebecois. Can’t be French. I don’t understand them.

The breeze has a slight bite, promising a pleasant cool day. Clouds chase overhead and I stop, straining to hear the National Anthem floating over the water from the Naval Air Station.

As so often before, I dream of being able to put these impressions and feelings into poetry.  But I can’t. I don’t even know why I entertain the thought as I never really understood most poetry. Or even liked it.

But it seems to be what one should do.

Or not.

I suppose it’s because lately snatches from poems read a lifetime ago are haunting me. Like the refrain of a favorite song. It keeps repeating itself. I only remember a few verses.

Cyber hugs and blessings all.

O Die pyn-gedagte: My kind is dood! . . .

dit brand soos ‘n pyl in my.

Die mense sien daar niks nie van,

en die Here alleen die weet wat ek ly.

Die dae kom en die nagte gaan

die skadu’s word lank en weer kort;

die drywerstem van my werk weerklink,

en ek gaan op my kruisweg voort.

Maar daar skiet aldeur ‘n pyn in my hart,

so, dat my lewe se glans verdwyn;

Jou kind is dood met ‘n vreeslike dood!

En – ek gryp my bors van die pyn.

(Totius 1877- 1953)



Oh the painful thought: my child is dead!

It burns like an arrow in me…

People don’t see any of it

And only the Lord, He knows how I suffer.

Days come and nights go

Shadows grow tall and short again

Behind me, the echo of my work’s moving spirit;

and I… continue my way of the cross

But then, a pain shoots through my heart!

so much so that that the brilliance of my life disappears;

Your child is dead with a terrible death

And I clench my chest with the pain…

Photo by Ricardo Alfaro on Unsplash

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