Taking the Waters

Taking the Waters by Lise Day

Ancient spring bubbles hot
source deep down earth’s core
Victorians modestly shrouded
itchy woollen bathing suits discrete
decorously languorously soaking
in mineral rich waters
wreathed in early morning steam

We plunge below the surface
splash shrieking down the super tube
children leap from pool to pool
bright with noodles swim- rings arm- bands
bikinis in neon lycra lime and fuchsia
the Muslim eyes behind the burka
look wistfully on till
daringly
she dips an emancipated toe.

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Flowers

Flowers by Lise Day

Wracked, furrowed
cut by ploughshare
shovelled, turned, carved,
flattened earth, trodden
under foot, oxcart, hoof,
tyre, wheel track.

In deep down crannies
seeds, corms find refuge
till, leaping into spring
they brush fields and paths
exuberant splashes of magenta, gold
sprouting wondrous heads
lifting faces to the sun.

My ground disturbed
I sense the pushing stem
impatient for the light.

Message in a Bottle

Message in a Bottle by Michael Keeling

I like the thought of the bottle
As it bobs through the ocean of hope,
Controlled by uncontrolled forces
With destiny pulling the rope.

Who knows of the message it carries
Or where it is meant to end;
And what of the person who finds it,
Have they too a message to send?

I’m putting the cork in the bottle
And throwing it out to sea;
The message inside reads something like this:
Will you be home for tea?

Noordhoek Beach

Noordhoek Beach by Angela Prew

A soft Autumn Sunday
no wind to whirl the sand,
stinging, against our legs, a day for dog walks and dogs there are,
big dogs,
small, yappy dogs,
guard dogs and lap dogs
walking their owners briskly over the sand.
Away towards Kommetjie
a knot of horses walk
at their riders’ pace
itching for a gallop. On the breaking waves
surfers, wet-suited, ride.
And you and I
chatting idly
enjoy the gentle sun
and the freedom,
after so many weeks,
so many relatives,
to be ourselves.

In Tamboerskloof

In Tamboerskloof by Elizabeth Trew

the echo of drums – slaves on the tamboer
and troops marching to military beat
moves across Signal Hill in a forest of cloud

drifts down to Victorian houses and blocks of flats
settles on roads and the fields beneath

a slender girl crosses a road by the traffic lights
a pregnant woman waits for the bus on route 56

rain caresses the Java fig
palms hang over crumbling walls
the avocado drinks the stream under my house
drums her fruit on the roof

jaywalkers, joggers dice with cars up the kloof
bergies rummage in dustbins at the corner shop

Andre’s black pig Conchita trots down Military Road
James guards the cars and dreams of his country

The monk’s journey/2

The monk’s journey/2 by Liz Trew

Follow the road twisting east through the desert
to the chain of hills running parallel to the coast,
pass the lone tree, café and filling station
a neighbouring monastery on your left,
enter our gate on the right

we receive all who come to our doors,
give food to all travellers

we praise those who came long before us
the flight of the holy family into wilderness,
the plight of desert fathers in desolation
who crossed stony ground fleeing persecution,
streams of pilgrims who sought refuge
in our desert mother,
founder saints on our site in a beehive of cells

we eat little to quell hostile passions
our oasis fed by clear underground pools
grow lemons, herbs, olives, dates,
pomegranate trees

we come as one to chant throughout nights
fast throughout days,
swing burning incense,
the fragrance of Christ between drums and bells

we elders remain on our slope
halfway to heaven in the state of God’s grace
each in his cell working as one

my cell is my furnace my pillow of cloud,
hermitage of my soul.