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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Spring (the season) (07/23/09)

TITLE: My African Spring
By Gillian Dobson
07/27/09


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Morning light
Sweet and golden
Lights the translucent greens and bronzes
Of fresh new leaves
Tipping boughs and branches
And banishing winter greys.

Red wings,
Bright and quick,
Proclaim returning friends
From winters spent in warmer climes;
Purple-crested loeries
Chatter their “Hello, we’re home!”

Some days ‘berg’ winds blow,
Their hot dryness heralding coming rain.

Ash black hillsides
Turn to green
As new grass rises
Where winter fires
Consumed and cleaned,
Making way for succulent newness.

Bushbuck and Zebra
Venture forth
With calves and foals afoot,
Testing and tasting
And kicking their heels
In greeting to the new day.

Longed-for rain clouds rise over the dry earth
And the scent of moisture, damp and sweet, fills the air.

Where lilies grow
And fish swim,
On a small bright dam,
Egyptian geese, proud but wary,
Lead forth a column
Of downy new life.

In tall trees and shrubby hedges
Vervet monkeys
Gather to chatter and groom,
While tiny babies
Wide-eyed and big-eared
Cling to their mothers’ sides

Occasionally a passing cold front
Caps distant purple mountains with glistening whiteness.

Freesias and ixias
Dance and dip
In window boxes
Nodding their colourful heads
In greeting
To the warm golden sun.

Early morning
Brings the trilling of swallows
And I watch each day
Their busy swooping and perching,
As they build their mud nests
Under my eaves.

New hope and joy
Warm my heart
As the circle of life
Reveals God’s faithful hand
Renewing and reviving
What once was dead and bare.

And I give thanks to Him
For the blessing of another African Spring.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Authors notes:
Purple crested Loeries – these are a beautiful indigenous bird – mostly a purple and green colour, but with magnificent deep red under their wings, which is only visible in flight. They are seasonal visitors to my garden, arriving in the spring.

“Berg” winds : this is a colloquial term for the hot dry winds blowing from mountain (berg) to shore during the spring season, and which usually occur ahead of the arrival of a cold front from the south which brings rain.

Egyptian geese: These are large light brown goose-like ducks, indigenous to the African continent and commonly found in many parts of South Africa.

European swallows visit us during the northern hemisphere winter. They are mostly the Greater and Lesser striped swallows.

Freesias and Ixias: I plant these indigenous bulbs (now hybridized to offer many beautiful colours) in the window boxes on my verandah where they brighten the spring days.


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This article has been read 330 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Allen Stark07/30/09
What a nature lover you must be. Great stimulation of my senses. I think I used every one of them in reading this beautiful poem.
Sara Harricharan 07/31/09
Simply beautiful-and you did your research! I loved to the note at the end that explained all the different things. Excellent.
Connie Dixon08/01/09
Loved the contrast between the new spring and the ominous weather. Very creative. Good job!
Seema Bagai 08/06/09
Beautiful writing. Congrats on the win.