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?

How To Look After Your Bougainvillea – An ‘Axe Tony’ Guide

About bougainvilleas
I’m writing a guide,
Using my methods
Which are trusted and tried.
Now if your plant is unruly,
And frustration grips
Then help is at hand,
Just follow my tips.
First hack off the branches,
Cut back as far as you can,
(With those dangerous spikes
That’s best left to a man).
When you’re just left
With the base of the plant
Take a good spade,
Held at a slant,
And dig out the roots,
Needs a little persistence,
I find wielding an axe
Overcomes their resistance.
Once the base and the roots
Are successfully removed
Throw them on the compost,
(Remember my method’s approved)
Then go tell your spouse
With a smile of your face
And her reaction will tell you
That you’re in disgrace.
So retrieve your bougainvillea
From the compost heap,
Dig a new hole
Nice and deep,
Add a little bonemeal
And some water too
And replant the bougainvillea,
It’s so easy to do.
And in a few months
You’ll see new branches shoot.
You see fixing a bougainvillea
Is really a hoot!

Fountain Pen

I haven’t used a fountain pen for longer than I care to remember, and I forgot just how nice it feels. It is slightly more inconvenient than a ballpoint pen or a pencil, but I’m sure that I can learn to live with that; until I spill the bottle of ink, that is!

I found an old fountain pen,
Alas, it had run out of ink,
But I was lucky to find a store
Selling Parker’s famous black Quink:
Now I’m writing with that pen
And it’s oh, so much better,
Resulting in an overwhelming feeling
To write someone a letter.
I can’t remember the last time
I sent anything hand written by post,
Letters are typewritten then printed,
Although I use e-mails the most;
Not forgetting about social media,
Facebook and WhatsApp now the thing,
But the satisfaction of hand writing
Electronic communication can’t bring.



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.

What Would We Do If The Internet Died?

Scientists who study the sun are pretty certain that at sometime in the future there will be bursts of solar radiation so strong that they will disable all satellites, maybe for a few minutes, or hours, or days, or even longer….

TPOTG Solar Flare Frame 01

What would we do if the internet died?
A burst of solar radiation, all satellites fried,
Useless mobile phones, no signals detected,
Facebook, You Tube, WhatsApp disconnected.

No bank transactions, no salaries paid,
No card facilities, no purchases made;
Selfies taken that you just couldn’t send,
It would seem like the world had come to an end.

Billions of records that no one could access;
Governments and businesses in turmoil and mess.
With digital connections being totally destroyed,
Old school techniques would need to be redeployed.

But those skills are forgotten, or have never been learned;
We’d have to think for ourselves, but that rulebook’s been burned.
By surrendering control to orbiting satcoms
We’ve exposed ourselves to ticking time bombs.

I hope I’m not around to weep and lament,
Witness the chaos and mayhem of this forecast event;
Humanity in a  mess from an internet freeze,
Lost and confused in a world brought to its knees.

 

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.

 

Maybe Ten More Summers

None of us are getting any younger, but as you progress through your seventies  you begin to reflect on just how many more years you actually may have left…

TPOTG Getting Older Acknowledgement

Maybe ten more summers, I hope there are more,
But nothing is certain, nothing is sure.
And at the end of those summers, when the lights fade,
Too late then to regret decisions not made.

Maybe ten more summers, so what should I do?
Stick with the old or try something new?
Another adventure, before I’m too old,
Create some new stories, which to friends can be told?

Maybe ten more summers, our lives are so short,
That time passes so quickly is not something we’re taught,
Feels like only yesterday those teenage years,
No old age thoughts then, no nagging fears.

Maybe ten more summers, choices need to be made,
But with age we lose confidence, become more afraid;
And what if that ten becomes twenty, or more?
If only I knew what life had in store.

Maybe ten more summers, is the time now or never
To stop being so wise, to dispense with the clever?
Is it time to be carefree, just live for the day,
Before my summers are all taken away?

 

Diets Can Be Dangerous

Christmas and New Year celebrations have added to the waistline, a fact confirmed by the scales, so it’s diet time, although there are risks associated with that…

TPOTG Shower Waste

 

And so today my diet begins,
A necessary penance to counter my feeding sins;
Over indulgence, unnecessary eating,
All the wrong foods together competing
To increase my waistline, add a new layer of fat;
Well this diet will wave goodbye to all that.
No more carbs at breakfast, lunch or dinner,
And as the weeks pass I’ll get thinner and thinner,
Until very soon precautions will need to be placed
To ensure I don’t disappear down the shower waste!

No Year Resolution

Here’s one New Year resolution that I know I will keep.

My New Year’s resolution
Is perfectly clear,
It’s not to make resolutions
For the New Year.
Self-promises made,
Like some ritual token,
No matter how earnest
Are sure to be broken,
Leading to frustration and guilt,
Such bitter pills to swallow,
So tradition, I’ve decided,
Is not something I’ll follow.