Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Day 3 - The Otter Trail

The Otter Trail
by Marié Jacobs - 23rd of August 2009
(Marié - in blue rain jacket with Mary-Ann)

(For Mary-Ann, and for Ashley, Ameeth, Faizel, Izelda, Judy, Rishee, Saras, and our Swiss German friends, Stefan and Edith – because you were all there)

be well-prepared:
the journey is long
the inclines steep
the elements unpredictable
the heart a mystery

we start our journey on the Otter trail
on mountains and coast lines
feel the first challenge of gravity
feel the first racing of the heart

what have we come here for
where is this journey taking us
will our bodies endure
will our minds prevail

my eyes see what is otherwise hidden:
a colourful carpet of leaves under my feet
lichen embracing the skin of branches
roots entangled like lover’s limbs

my legs become like stilts
tackling tree roots, log-steps, stones
up and
up and
conquering ascents and descentsstep by step

and there in the clear blue heavens
rises Skilderkrans

feet calves knees hips back shoulders

the mind
flicker like a flame
in the blustering wind

and there flowing from the lucid sea
runs Lottering river

with a pounding heart
a cold body
clinging to a rope
I cross the rising water in mid-tide

reaching the cabin in the afternoon
with shrieks of joy
we make a bonfire
drink eat laugh talk
revisit the day’s adventures
in deep safe sleepmuscle and bone are restored

the journey continues
my senses like a headlight in the dark
the sea raging far beneath me
flickering lights signalling in the distance

our tortoise-bodies become like those of monkeys
grimacing recklessly at cutting edges
clambering sheer cliffs in death-defiance

and there between ageless rocky ravines
shines Bloukransriver

the white waves crush against the rocks
the water runs brown and deep
our minds in turmoil and doubt -
we have to choose -
Escape Route 6

what do I hope to find here
is there no end to this journey
will my body be strong enough to endure
will my mind be disciplined enough to prevail

my feet keep on treading
on the pathway before me
my knees keep on resisting
the constant gravity of age

my hand keeps on reaching
for support from a friend’s hand
my eyes keep on searching
for things of beauty:

the Knysna Lourie
geranium leaves
old man’s beard
the clawless Otter

my heart
my heart
my heart
keeps on racing
towards the flickering lights in the faraway distance
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