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Bits and bobs about my life in my lovely home, Thatchwick Cottage, Pretoria, South Africa.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday, 24 October, 2008: Cottonwool clouds



These early morning clouds over Thatchwick Cottage are tufts of cottonwool. A wet weekend is forecast for Johannesburg and Pretoria. Our spirits have already been lifted by some spring rain which has given a green sheen to the brittle, yellow veld grass. The prospect of more rain is a great conversation opener with all and sundry: the petrol attendant at the garage, shop assistants in the mall, casual passersby on my early morning walk, Unisa colleagues and friends.

Pretoria afternoon by Anthony Delius is a poem about summer thundershowers.

There leans on the horizon's fence
a slow explosion of heat,
that towers white, grotesque, immense,
above the end of Schoemann Street.

The grieving jacaranda trees,
each on its bruise of fallen flowers,
are withered senators whose pleas
rouse no one in a fatal hour.

The dark mechanic roads run by-
the petals drip on them in vain-
and self-absorbed the black wheels ply
their way with a strange sound of rain.

But vast now in the passiate skies
a praying-mantis reaches down
stretching its pious claws to seize
the helpless insect of the town.

Scared refugees of light and shade
flee west across the startled hills,
men stare from shelters they have made,
feel earth grow stronger that their wills.

The dry earth cracks - and through it comes
a black tremendous man who's dressed
in plumes and ox-tails, urged by drums
with spears of lightning in his fist.

15 comments:

Coloradolady said...

Beautiful photo. I love your header. Great swf post

Greyscale Territory said...

Love it when the clouds are all soft and fluffy like this! They seem to add a certain brightness to the sky!

earthlingorgeous said...

There was a fisherman's tale that when the clouds looks like this one on your shot, there will be lots of catch. Lovely poem by the way. Nice SWF contribution!

babooshka said...

Gorgeous image and your header is spectacular.

Wieneke said...

Fluffy clouds, I think them very friendly and the poem too ;-)

Smilingsal said...

I've never read that poem. The last stanza, personifying a storm--oh, I love it!

Claire said...

so accurate in its description. so vivid.

willow said...

Lovely sky and lovely poem, as well, Eleanor. Happy Friday to you, dear friend.

Sreddy Yen said...

Cool photo! It looks a lot like shreds of cotton candy. The rain sure does bring some coolness into the hot summer. I love the jacaranda photo of your banner. Sreddy

Halcyon said...

Love the clouds. Excellent choice for skywatch!

Carrie said...

Lovely sky photo!

Lily Hydrangea said...

I love these kinds of clouds.

Denise said...

There's nothing quite like a South African sky, is there? Your posts brought back a flood of memories of the peach trees all in bloom on the mountains and the great fields of sunflowers being planted. Thank you for the pleasant memories!

Have a blessed week!

Ferreira-Pinto said...

Great photo and a lovely poem.
I also loved the header.

I lived in Pretoria for about 11 years so, and if you don't mind, I'm going to link this fantastic blog.
It shall be a way to keep those memories alive!

Arija said...

I love your poem, especially the second last verse.
I'm glad you are at last getting spring rains, we are stillhoping in vein, and the grass that greened in winter is now already burning off. A sad shift of seasons.