Tag: Olienhout

A Tribute to Duncan

I want to pay my respects to a person I barely knew, and yet who made a lasting impression. Duncan was a very upbeat and enthusiastic guy who lived next to me in res; a rare ray of sunlight in an all too dark and grey world. I knew him only a small span of time, but he constantly reinforced the positivity that everybody should strive to live up to – the epitome. There was always laughter resonating from next door; always guitar tunes drifting through the air, Spanish spoken to friends who stood in our residence’s courtyard, songs sung, jokes cracked. A constant bustle dominated our corridor, Duncan being the centre of enthusiasm and smiles. A constant stream of people was drawn to Duncan’s room; like moths to a flame, sharing and revelling in his warm company. Duncan was a majestic lion taking on life, with a soft heart filled with compassion.

I want to share a few photos I took on that last weekend we spent with him on our residence’s serenade camp.  

A message left on his door, from a friend on our corridor:

When our baritone voice group was warming up I took a few photos:

That first night around the fire:

Playing sports during breaks:

Arms raised:

Duncan has left friends and family too soon, but all he achieved in such a short time should be celebrated (especially the lives he touched: with just a smile or  good-natured ‘chilled vibes’)

I would like to extend my sincere condolences to his family and friends.

His presence will be greatly missed – but his spirit, love, laughter and memory will live on, ad infinitum.


Lion (a tribute to Duncan Craig Allan)


The king of animals; strapping

Making order of all this chaos

This is what the lion does

The lion smiles, with sharp and ready

Claws to take on the world

Always humming a tune

Strumming the melody out

Of life, dancing, smiling –

The lion gazes, intensely

Sucking the marrow out of life


This lion will be missed

King of many hearts

King of laughter, jesters

This lion will be missed

No other animal can

Take up his steady place


This lion will be remembered

For his tenacity

For his laughter

For his lion’s heart


Go now, to the gates of heaven

And rightly take your place among

Pastures of cloud, pastures of peace

Gambol in sunlight, romp in delight

Sow your spirit ad infinitum


August 2011 – Francois Hermanus Steyn


The Beacon

I count myself very fortunate and lucky to have taken this picture. It took hundreds of shots to get this perfect panning photo – thank goodness for digital! This was the first time I really practiced panning shots, and it paid off in the end. Sometimes it might seem that you’re ramming your head repeatedly into a wall, but just now and again you get that breakthrough you have been working so hard to achieve.

This picture reminded me of a poem I wrote in 2008.


The Beacon


This body; mine castle

Upon battlement my proud eye

The fiercer mine enemy

The darker mine cry


Nothing can touch this flesh

Arrows, fire of blade:

All is but blunt knives

Primitive, human-made


The protective shield is borne within

Harnessing unquenchable strength

From Life’s fountain flow,

Absolute breadth and absolute depth


This song is sweet to ears

Blooming in vitality, bringing tears

To the faces of hopeless men

Who hide in pitiful, lonely dens

Look upon this fortress!

Beacon of hope and prowess!

Let light fill your darkened holes

Seeping into your bottomless souls.

For we are the protectors of

This never-ending tale

And we shan’t set sail

‘till we succeed or fail.


Written 2008 – Francois Hermanus Steyn