Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A mountain whisper

At dusk, rain threatened.
A soft musky fragrance of incense curled from the mosque on Signal Hill.

Beyond the mosque, just down the path where everyone walks or runs,
hidden in the fynbos, is a scattering of kramats.
This place is where six or seven Islamic wise men and teachers
have been buried for centuries.

Some kramats are ornate, some just marked by stones,
but all covered with a fabric chadar,
pilgrims’ sign of devotion and reverence.

Over here all the kramats are also surrounded by fynbos -
rose-scenting pelargoniums, imphepho, wild rosemary.
On this day rain drops down on the chadars,
mist covers the pine trees and the big mountain slowly disappears.

As-salam alaykum. Peace be upon you, whispers the mountain.
And it does.
Rain drops  on the chadar.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Breathing rocks

At six o’clock, as the week folded its wings into the weekend,
the rain swept down – hurried, lightly – like a veil in the wind.

This is when the mountain is turned into a jewellery box,
and every leaf, branch and flower
is draped in diamonds and sapphires and crystals.

But the magic that flings itself forward –
that makes me gasp at their beauty,
are simply two rocks,
breathing in the light of the setting sun.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Two pine needles

It’s a windless summer afternoon on the mountain.

On a knobbly rock under a thick-barked old pine tree
exists a lichen and moss artwork in a hidden shady spot.

Today just two pine needles cross gently over this masterpiece
and swallows fly fast and sharply under small flag whistles.

It’s hot.