Seven Days at Sea

 

 This is a picture of False Bay as seen from Strand in Cape Town, taken in April 2011.

False bay as viewed from Strand

My family and I spent a lovely two weeks on the western tip of South Africa, soaking in the sights and sounds that this wonderful place has to offer. We visited a rainy, grey and windy Waterfront, popped into the quaint and friendly aquarium, visited relatives in Bellville and even spent a night out on the town. Wine was also on the agenda, and it did not take long for us to visit wine estates in Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, enjoying a cheese platter at the former (with a glass of merlot obviously) and tasting wine at the latter. A serene and laid-back atmosphere reigns in this part of our country, and what more could one desire apart from wine, sea and mountains?

 

Seven Days at Sea

 

For seven days the old man gazed at the wrinkled sea

Pondering about times slipped by and what he still could be

Eyes squinted at the tranquil bay, nostrils flared with salt

Barely seeing the winking horizon, bringing his soul to a halt

 

 

Time has evaded his old hand too shrewdly for his own liking :

The world had much still to offer, he longed for the beauty striking

Alas he felt his weary bones creak and gave in to its soft cry

He remained silent, lonely, ready to be taken to his coffin’s lie

 

 

He breathed in the freshness, his lungs content at peace

As the dark clouds came sliding in, trumpeting out its disease

Dark curtains of ashen water fell to the tranquil, sleepy bay

It became a legend of note, the black water of that day

 

 

Still the man sat on that drenched bench, water pouring from heaven

As he rested on the last day of his life, completing the seven

Lightning thrilled the sky and monstrous waves crushed the rocks

As nature gave an ode to this old man, or a subtle mock?

 

 

The wrinkled face crumpled as it was consumed by the sea :

It dawned that there was none more he could be –

For he has pondered too long on the trivial in life

And so consumed by a life half content, half strife

 

August 2009 – Francois Hermanus Steyn

 

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