Priceless

Some things you just can’t put a price on….

It’s not just the plants that give me such pleasure,
Deep in my garden lies its real hidden treasure.

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I use my garden to grow my soul,
To anchor my roots, to make me whole;
To understand how good it can feel
To weed out life’s trivia, to nurture what’s real;
To connect with nature, finding peace in its earth,
So how can I value what my garden is worth?

Day’s End

There is something quite magical about sitting and just watching the sun go down….

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The sun starts to set,
The air slowly cools,
The fierce daytime heat
Now no longer rules.
On the stoep we have gathered
For our usual observance
Of the end of the day,
The sun’s disappearance.

The dog has been walked,
The wine has been poured,
The stoep lamps are burning,
Against insects secured;
The last of the daylight
Lingers far out to the West,
It’s awesome changing vistas,
Stirring senses from rest.

And as night supplants day
The twilight is crowned
By animals orchestrating
That African sound.
Guinea fowl roosting,
Chattering away,
Crickets endless chirping,
Owls having their say.

Haunting sounds
As the day’s put to rest,
Another Karoo wonder
By which we are blessed.
And as the stoep lamps flicker
And we watch the flames dance,
The moths come to join us
On their nightly advance.

Finally by the darkness
We’re completely surrounded,
Our mind, soul and body
Now totally grounded.
Of all of life’s crops
Surely this is the cream,
Sitting here on the stoep,
Living our dream.

 

A Leaf’s Lament

Sitting here watching the plants being battered by relentless gusts of wind, after having just endured a severe frost and wondering just what those poor leaves must be feeling.

It’s not easy being a leaf these days,
By Jack Frost I’ve been abused,
And now by a howling gale
I’m being battered and bruised.
If only I could be the plant’s root,
Buried there beneath the ground,
Away from frost and wind,
A warm and peaceful haven found.
Not being bothered by the hot sun.
The outside world wouldn’t ever intrude,
Just need the old man to give me water,
And the occasional dose of plant food.
With a worm or two for company,
(Hopefully a mole I’d never meet),
And some other roots to chat with,
As we lay spreading our feet.

Garden Refugee

There is nowhere I’d rather be………………

When a person seeks a refuge
We call them a refugee,
So when I’m in my garden
Throw that mantle over me.
It is my church, my special place,
A sanctuary where I find peace;
The world outside is kept at bay,
And my soul can find release.

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With hoe in hand or watering can,
Under cloud or the blistering sun,
Life’s petty worries are cast aside
And with nature I become as one.
My garden’s where I truly find peace
As my plants I lovingly tend;
A safe haven that beckons me each day,
A refuge that’s become a true friend.

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The feel of the earth as I work with my hands
Makes the spirits inside of me rise;
I can think of no place I’d rather be,
No better sight for my sore, old eyes.
How can I value these gifts I receive
As my garden keeps on giving and giving?
I’ve found my asylum, I’ve made my escape;
A garden refugee; what a life to be living!

 

Breakfast With A View

Perhaps getting up every morning at sparrows fart just so you can sit in seemingly endless queues of traffic isn’t the best way to start your day? 

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Imagine starting each day
In the way that we do,
Breakfast on a stoep
A great mountain view;
Sitting there chatting,
No need to be rushed,
The smell of fresh coffee,
As the plunger is pushed.
Fresh creamy yoghurt,
Nice and thick, not too runny
And drizzled all over,
With local raw honey.
Eggs sometimes scrambled,
As the routine gets changed,
With tomatoes and bacon
For the yoghurt exchanged.
Our day being planned,
Or then again not,
Discussing the weather,
Is it going to be hot?
Watching orioles and drongos
At the fountain drinking,
Planning garden improvements,
Gets the grey matter thinking.
Just chilling out
Before the day has begun,
As we sit on our stoep feeling
Life’s jackpot’s been won.

 

Township Dog

One of the saddest sights in South African townships are the large number of neglected, hungry and maltreated dogs that roam around. 

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I don’t have a name,
No one ever loved me that much,
And from when I was a pup
I’ve known no gentle touch;
You see I’m a township dog
And ever since my arrival
My days have been spent
Fighting just for survival.
No bowls filled with food,
I scavenge scraps instead,
And I sleep where I can,
There’s no comfortable bed.
I’m often unwell,
But there’s no vet to arrange,
I’m covered in fleas
And my coat’s full of mange.
The long winter’s nights,
I find nothing is worse,
Those freezing cold winds
Are this thin dog’s curse.
I keep out of the way,
Or else I get kicked,
And for illegal dog fights
I hope I’m never picked.
At avoiding deadly traffic
I’ve become quite adept,
A parental skill
I’ve thankfully kept.
I don’t know another life,
Being part of a home,
Being loved and cared for,
Not being left just to roam.
As kindness is not something
I’ve ever known,
Then trust is not something
I’ve ever shown.
But who cares about me?
Why should I be saved?
I’m just a township dog,
Alone and afraid.

 

An Escape to the Country

We’ve made our escape…..have you? 
 
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Away from the noise,
Away from the grime,
Away from the traffic,
That steals our time.

Away from drab buildings,
Uninteresting places,
Away from the graffiti
That so often defaces.

Away from the signs,
The enforced restrictions,
Away from the malls
And those shopping addictions,

Away from the crowds,
The commuting lifestyle,
Away from grey faces
That never smile,

Away from the cameras
That keep a record of us,
Away from the commotion,
Away from the fuss.

An escape to the country,
An escape to more space,
An escape to a life
At a much gentler pace.

With fresh air to breathe
And bird song to hear;
And people with time,
Life drops down a gear. 

Santa’s Bedford Experience

A brief look at early morning on Christmas Day in Bedford…….

So what happened in Bedford
On Christmas Day?
Did Santa arrive
With his reindeer and sleigh?
Well, Pete couldn’t feed the reindeer,
It’s been far too dry,
And without food for the reindeer
Santa was unable to fly.
So to ensure the presents
Arrived on your hearth,
Santa used a scooter
That he borrowed from Garth.
So we had the sound of put-putting
Instead of the sound of hooves,
And sadly no sleigh perched
On Bedford’s tin rooves.
From his new petrol pumps
Wolfie provided free fuel
And there were drinks from SPAR
To help keep Santa cool.
As Santa passed Hope Street
Charles played him a song
(Sounded like Cliff Richard,
Although I could be wrong).
Abby tried to sell him a house,
But Santa didn’t have time,
Said on his return to Lapland
He’d take a look online.
Couldn’t stop for a portrait,
So Ken got frustrated,
And there was no time for Les
To get social media updated.
So there you have it,
No reindeer, no sleigh
But I hope that didn’t spoil
Your Christmas Day.

Just a Friday Morning

Not always that easy to find the motivation…..

As the chill morning air
Banishes a few days of heat,
And the rain gently falls,
For our plants such a treat.
A second pot of coffee,
As if by magic;
Not to soak up this splendour
Would surely be tragic.

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The camera shutter clicks,
Must capture the morning
As the mist cloaks the mountain,
Of more rain it’s a warning.
Searching for the energy
To make a start to our day,
Or should we just stay here?
Perhaps we just may!

 

Our Cottage Might Be Small

Sometimes less can be more…

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Under the jacaranda trees
In the soft dappled shade,
On a newly cut lawn,
With a lunch freshly made;
Sipping a cold drink,
Eyes gently closing,
The peace and the quiet,
Awesome and imposing.
Neon purple flowers
Occasionally falling
As the afternoon breeze
Now comes a-calling.
Butterflies float by,
Their painted wings flapping,
The dog missing their dance
As she lies quietly napping.
A drongo sits drinking
At the water fountain;
Watched over and guarded
By our beautiful mountain.
Our cottage might be small,
But it’s big on the giving,
It’s all we’ll ever need
For the life we’re now living.