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Summer in Karoodorp

Summer in Karoodorp

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Published by KeithBeavon
A hot day in a small town in the semi-desert of South Africa
A hot day in a small town in the semi-desert of South Africa

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Published by: KeithBeavon on Dec 26, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/22/2013

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Summer in Karoodorp
On the anvil that’s the
dorp
The noon-day sun beats down.So twixt twelve and twoLife in the place is suspended.Doors to the stores are ‘
toe
And in their dusty windows cheapMannequins sleep with open eyes.The air is still and heavy.So in the sparse foliageOf small pepper treesFeathered creatures perch,With beaks agape,And wings spread wide,Trying to beat the heat.At the door to the barOf the ‘Royal’ Hotel,In a sliver of shade,A mastiff lies panting.Inside the trade is slow.
 Manne
on barstoolsNurse brandy-and-coke.House windows are closed.In the darkened interiors,Hidden from sight bySlatted wooden shutters,People flop on chairs,Avoid all movement, inAttempts to beat the heat.At two a slight sputter of life.It is ‘government’ employeesReturning to work.The magistrate and two clerksDawdle back to the court.The post-master and staff Re-enter the GPO.It’s still quiet at the ‘Royal’ Hotel.With no shoppers the doorsOf the stores remain closed.Under the shade of pepper trees,Outside the shuttered Co-op,And alongside the ‘P
rokureur’s
,
 
A
bakkie
and tractor are parked.The ‘garage’ is desertedSave for its two Caltex pumps.From all sun-baked surfaces.Hot, dry, and dusty air rises.So every now and thenThe wind-pump in my yardCreaks as it turns a little.In school classroomsPupils slump on desks.Teachers no longer teach;
 Lees jul voorgeskrewe boek 
.”Two-thirty! At last!The school-day’s overAnd also the worst of the heat.Now
en masse
Pupils scurry out,Head for home, thenAfter something to eatIt’s back for athleticsOn a grass-free track, orTennis on concrete courts.Eventually the glowering sunSends streaks of colourAcross the western skyAs it slowly dips out of sight.Then when twilight is overThe moon is bright and bathesThe town in silvery hues.By nine o’clock It’s cool and stillSave for the flutter of mothsAround the outside lights.And I lie on a bedOutside on the
 stoep
With my dog at my feet.Keith Beavon30:
viii 
:2011
2

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