Verse or Two
The Poetry of members and friends
are many amateur poets among the hiking community and it is a privilege to offer a forum
for the publication of the works of some of these poets. If you would like a poem
published on this page, please send it to me firstname.lastname@example.org
. There is no fee for publication and while copyright exists throughout this site, there
is no guarantee that people will not steal your work. I hope that you, the reader, enjoy
the poems and maybe it will inspire you to write "A Verse or Two"
It's Three in the Morning
This is a poem that I wrote at the
Gorge Wellington hiking trail. There was a full moon and I slept outside but
awoke just before three and started writing.
At three in the morning one's
thoughts run deep. The silence around me put me in a rather melancholy mood.
three in the morning,
I cannot sleep,
Around me, the sound of the bush sing
Melodies that could make one weep.
The moon is guiding my writing path,
As I gaze into the glowing fire hearth.
The embers of a once great flaming fire,
Send me warmth as if by dying desire.
The sounds of the bush will never fade away,
But the embers of the fire have had their day,
It is the story of life itself,
A story of new beginnings and of final death,
As man must live and then expire,
But the sounds around me will always rekindle in fire.
As the moon follows sun or sun follows moon,
So it is the order of life’s domain.
I think of the baby that’s still to be born,
A new day in life’s eternal plan,
I think of the old lady who will see no tomorrow,
A look in her eyes of resignation and sorrow.
I think of a river that flows from the heavens to the sea,
An eternal process that one cannot flee.
by Tim Hartwright
HIGHVELD WINTER RAIN
SOFT AND SWEET THE FALLING RAIN.
EARTH BRINGS MORNING JOY AGAIN
WRINKLED NOSE OF FURRY FORM
OUT THE TREASURES NIGHT HAS BORN
WONDROUS PERFUME FRESHLY DONNED
A WHILE, AS PUDDLE AND POND
WILDLIFE FROM THEIR WINTER SLUMBER
DREAM AGAIN OF SUMMER’S WONDER
QUENCHED THROUGH BRIEF RESPITE
GENTLE RAINS THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT
BACK WHAT GREEDY SUN RAYS STEAL
YELLOWED GRASS, AND TRIES TO HEAL.
ECSTACY THE MOISTURE BRINGS
WAKENING THE ROBIN SINGS,
PARCHED EARTH TENTATIVELY DRAWS
PRECIOUS NECTAR THROUGH HER PORES
TASTING NATURE’S SWEET RELIEF
RECALLING SUMMER’S GREENING LEAF
DRAWS AND GREEDILY SHE PLUNDERS
VAPOROUS BALM - UNTIL ONE WONDERS
SUCH A VERY BRIEF OCCASION
COMPENSATES FOR MANS’ INVASION
BARE EARTH DEVOID OF COVER
KEEP IT TIDY’ - NO LEAVES OR CLOVER
TO LINGER FOR FEAR OF ‘PESTS’
LURK BENEATH EARTH’S WINTER VEST.
EARTH WORM CASTS ARE HEAVEN SENT
AERATING GROUND TILL NEXT EVENT
NURTURING ALL REFRESHING RAIN
NOURISH OUR DRY EARTH AGAIN.
BLUE AND GOLD WITH HINT OF RED
GLOWING GRASSVELD FADES TO BED
THATCHING GRASSES TALL AND PROUD
FOR NIGHT TO CAST HER SHROUD.
LINGERING DUST’S REFLECTED GLOW,
DESCENDING SEEMS TO GROW,
APRICOTS AND PINKS UNTIL
GATHERS UP THE EVENING CHILL.
SCENTED AIR WITH DUSK DESCENDING
ON SHADOWS - NIGHT IS PENDING,
SLEEPY SUNRAYS REACH TO SKIES,
HORISONS MEET AND HEAVEN SIGHS,
SEARCH THE EARTH WITH STRETCHING ARMS
HUNGRY JACKAL AND DOGS FROM FARMS
OUT TO KINSFOLK FAR AND NEAR
PLAINTIVE MUSIC A THRILL TO HEAR.
MISS THEIR MARK AS DAY SUBSIDES
RUSTLING RODENT IN PATHWAY HIDES
EARLY OWLS ALL SEEING EYES
EARS THAT MISS NAUGHT, OTHERWISE
HUNGER LASTS THE CHILLY NIGHT
FAMISHED DAYBREAK DAWNS WITH BRIGHT
FROSTY AIR AS MIST ASCENDS
RIVER’S SCENIC BENDS.
FRECKLED NIGHTJAR’S THROATY TRILL
HEARD FROM FAR ACROSS THE STILL
EVENING, AS HIS HUNGER WILL
HIS EMPTY CROP TO FILL
TARDY INSECTS CAUGHT IN FLIGHT.
TIME FOR BAT HAWK’S BUSY NIGHT
AGILE SWERVES ACROSS THE BRIGHT
FROM TRACKS REFLECTED LIGHT.
SUN’S LONG GONE TO OTHER REGIONS
HIGHVELD DARK BRINGS NIGHTLY LEGIONS
GENETS, EAGLE OWLS AND RATS
TANTALISE DOMESTIC CATS
MUNCHY MEALTIME BRINGS CONTENT
CONTEMPLATING DAY WELL SPENT
SUBSIDES TO SLEEPINESS AND CALM
OF WARMTH AND FREE FROM HARM
Pat van Nierop
SITTING HIGH ON THE SHOULDER OF THE KLOOF
NESTLES THE HIKERS' LODGE, SOLID AND INVITING
LOOKING TO THE DISTANT HILLS MISTY AND ALOOF
THEN DOWN INTO THE VALLEY GREEN AND EXCITING
THE RIVER IS CHUCKLING DOWN BELOW
BECKONING ADVENTURE AT EVERY TURN
AND AT OTHER TIMES HURRYING ON TO GURGLE AND CHURN
UP THE SLOPES PAST FLORA MANY AND VARIOUS
ALONG NARROW PATHS LOOKING QUITE PRECARIOUS
SUNBIRDS HOVER AT FLOWERS' LONG THROATS
ALONG THE SLOPES BROWSE COWS, SHEEP AND GOATS
HOW WELCOME IS THE SHADE OF A WILD PEAR TREE
AS WE SETTLE TO REST AND ENJOY WHAT WE CAN SEE
WE GLIMPSE THE WATERFALL CASCADING OVER THE EDGE
AND HURRY TO REACH IT, THEN LIE AROUND AND VEG!
THE WATER IS ICY IN THE SHIMMERING POOL
BUT AFTER THE HEAT, WE RELISH THE COOL
CLIMBING ONTO BOULDERS TO BASK IN THE SUN
YOU CITY SLICKERS ARE MISSING SUCH FUN
THE SIMPLE PLEASURE AND JOYS OF THIS FARM
RESTORES IN THE SPIRIT A SENSE OF CALM.
by Verna Deakin
Bermanzi is a hiking trail in the
Machadodorp area of Mpumalanga. It has a beautiful waterfall and is one
of the most beautiful hikes in the province.
(place of much rain)
This is a poem that I wrote when
thinking of this very beautiful rain forest area close to Hazey View in Mpumalanga.
Sometimes, during winter, the forest floor starts to dry out and the leaves begin to
Through forest, savanah and along river bank I walk,
With just the birds and Cicarda beetles to talk
A little gurgling brook needs to be crossed,
What does the water taste like, I asked?
So I crouched down and cup my hand for it to try,
The ice cold sparkles of droplets like a child’s cry.
The taste is so soothing to the lips,
As the water enters my mouth in sips.
I look upwards through the branches of the trees to the sky,
And wonder what cloud will bring more rain to this mountain so dry.
And then I once more embark upon my journey,
Following some road wherever it will take me,
Away from the gurgling brook, so free,
Back to the stress of the city, I must flee,
Until again I may walk by a crystal stream with glee,
In a mountainous land I can once again tarry.
by Tim Hartwright
strangers we meet................
time together.. talking, walking,
sore feet ..........
We became friends
and always will be........
This hike brought
us all closer together you see ......
yesterday's memories and tomorrow's dreams........
as close as a
flower's petals, dipping in cool streams.........
Relax and having
fun... after a long days hiking in the sun....
solar bears.......sharing food with friends who cares ........
yellow, pink, orange and red too!........
I believe in
magic------------- do you?............
by the fire's dancing flames.........
listening to the
sounds of the night and playing games........
beauty of the Outeniqua with butterflies and birds..............
.enjoying their happy
song of tweety-tweety words...........
This Poem was written by Yvonne
after she has just completed this magnificent trail in the Eastern Cape close to Knysna
and George. The area has some of the most beautiful indigenous forests to be found in
Captives of the Canyon
By Don Young
This poem seems to be the tale of the Fish River Canyon
for most people who enter this inhospitable world. Strangely, this trail
attracts more return visits than any other of the long distance trails of
OF THE CANYON.
long dry trip,
arrived at the lip,
Of the second biggest canyon in the world,
chains and the slippery bits,
boulders and over the falls,
five minutes we were told,
felt a lot longer to our toes,
now Captives of the Canyon.
sand and the hard hard rocks,
the place for the overnight stop,
ritual began, the bags unrolled,
star was seen,
stories were told,
they were sung,
was left with the moon on watch,
And as we
lay in our beds,
watched the shadows change,
rock face above.
coffee and rusks, We were ready to roll,
soft sand and
horrible round rocks,
On to the
the next corner we were told,
Captives of the Canyon.
to me so strange,
soft sand at our feet,
lay in our beds,
into instant concrete,
sites so tidy and neat,
had stones placed all around,
others like the MIlkmans,
like a battleground.
with the baboons,
dainty grey buck,
tracks of the Big Cat,
from the pools,
over short cuts,
back of the moon,
lonely soldiers grave,
Captives of the Canyon.
fourth day dawned ,
cold and grey,
By way of
the stock kraal,
grey heron on watch,
Canyons not over,
Fat Man arrives,
ice cold bottle of cheer,
warm springs of Ai-Ais,
us the Captives of the Canyon.
Along a distant mountain track I wander,
Up and up the mountain slope I go
The path ahead appears more rugged and slender
as the wind force continues to grow
Will it rain I begin to ponder
Will the dark clouds unleash there wrath
Do I continue the path course to follow
Or head for the valley far bellow
Peering out across the distant green meadows
Across the farmland far below
I see the approaching clouds of rains gather
like the turmoil of a boiling kettle
Of a sudden the path turns a brow of headland
the way forward the decent now seems even steeper
and heads towards a dark and foreboding woodland
with its promised of instant shelter
as all around becomes dark and bleak
and the lowering of the temperature
as the first bolts of lightning streak
and with the lightening comes the rainstorm
driving hard at my face.
I reach the shelter of the murky forest
and find a perch by a mountain stream
A lonely cow shows its interest
and comes to look as if in a dream
The placid stream begins to gurgle
and rise towards were I have my seat.
The torrents of water cascade downwards
The whiteness like a glowing lamp
I huddle closer with my backpack
and await the calming at storm end
pondering on natures angers
and the frailty of mankind
by Tim Hartwright
This is a poem that I wrote one
morning a work. I felt rather melancholy at the time of writing and my thoughts dwelt on
the Eikenhof Trail in Natal.
An animal related
the the European Wild Boar. They frequent the forests and feed on roots.
They are much bigger and more dangerous than their relative, the Warthog. I
came across three of these while walking in the forest at Mapulaneng.
|In a forest deep, I sit and
A Bushpig looks up as if to scare
Did he hear the rustle of our feet
or was it just the rustle of some leaf
He decides to flee our presence just in case
Leaving us to ponder whether to chase
But just then he is gone and out of sight
Leaving a dark image of his might
by Tim Hartwright
Poems by Peter van der Schyff
cold and dark damp!
my mediocre boundaries have shrunk
gagging my senses,
leaving me breathless,
finally shattering me
to splintered glass
without reflection ……
these dark clouds come
perhaps to harness me:
absorb and fuel
feed it with violent storms
yet never lighting my turmoiled landscape
could I ever fathom
deep this well might be?
What profound emptiness
fills the void within me?
Like cold winter winds
fill vacant city lots,
rain has left my dry eyes wet
life and laughter
fill the cups
until they overflow and spill
colourfully into pavements
playfully giggle and touch and dance and kiss.
merrily run and wave and sing and laugh out loud.
play and sing and strum and tap their feet.
I smile contently
cut my lifeline
But let me flow,
inside this cocoon
where I will forever be
The Road goes on
by Robin Woodward
The road goes on…
I desert the
twinkling lights of Johannesburg for glowing fields of sunflowers
silver barked trees linger by the roadside.
straddle the road like characters from War of the Worlds
And the road
spin in the breeze, each vane saluting a bygone era
was free and its acquisition hurt nothing
St, Kurgar Road, many names remain but too many are being changed
And still the
road goes on
flask of coffee and my Jukebox keep me awake
road takes me to Cape Town but never forget that it’s not the
destination but the journey that is important. Like Life, the journey
is now, don’t waste it, live it!
Oh yes, and
the road goes on and on
dot the hillside ensuring I’m always available,
hills pop up like flowers in spring,
and Dams tempt but I resist and
relentlessly goes on
What I love
the most is the road etiquette
They pull over
to the left; I flash my hazard warning lights, they flash headlights
A never ending
spiral of courtesy
really does go on and on
now, filled with Tequila cactus, Oh YES
terrain begins to undulate and finally turns into Monument Valley
But it just
goes on and on!
As does the
dust devil tries to impersonate a tornado but with little success,
I find a train
to race but its carrying giant, one ton steel polo mints
So not really
a fair competition
definitely goes on
The road rises
Like the story
of my life encapsulated in a small stretch of tarmac
For life is a
just a rollercoaster so ensure you enjoy the ride
constant is that the road goes on
crowd in now as if to mock my progress
matter how fast I go or
How long I
It just goes
on and then I arrive
say the first time is always the best
subscribe to that point of view,
I will be
The road that
goes on and on
Footprint Hiking Club
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