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Tugela on a Winter Morning

Tugela on a Winter Morning

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Published by KeithBeavon
Just a description of an early morning in 1949. The river flows near the village of Bergville.
Just a description of an early morning in 1949. The river flows near the village of Bergville.

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Published by: KeithBeavon on Oct 21, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/21/2009

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Tugela
on a Winter Morning
1
1At six it’s coldBut it is getting light.With the ‘ball’ of 
 putu
It’s time to start.2Outside it’s crispAnd the air is still.The long grassesStand motionless.3As the sun’s red orbCreeps into the skyLengthy shadows rangeLike fingers o’er the veld.4It’s all so quietDown by the riverWhere almost ripple-lessIt slides not flows.5On the high bank A beehive hutEmits a smudge of smokeWith a dung-like smell.6Now down the bank And near the water’s edgeThe willows branchesBare of leaves weep down.7Cold as it looksThe water’s warmerThan the airHence the rising mist.
 
8Then a plop.And ripples mark Where a fishHas leapt.9Ahead in the mistThe outline of two boysWith three fishing polesCan be discerned.10In my hand I holdThe ball of 
 putu
cold.Cooked on our coal stoveIt’ll be used as bait.11After we have greetedWe press
 putu
on t’ hooks.Then lines with floatsPlop in and ripples make.12Whether we catch a fishOr more likely don’t.It’s great to be standingTogether, silent, on the bank.13Slow, slow, the river slidesAnd silently the vapours rise.Now the sun is higher,Golden, no longer red.14Soon it is light enoughTo see the other bank.Now the water shinesReflecting the sharper light.
 
15Soon, too soon,The magic silenceOf the early dawnWill be blazed away.16Then we will enjoyA different moodAs we stand on the bank Waiting for fish to bite.
 Keith Beavon
3:ix:2009

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