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Not the plump plenty
of the peninsula: fruit
sun-preserved & bugle-round, evaginated,
the deep, sink-in-green of lawn
or the colourul conversations
of flowerbeds all year long
with small variations
on the four seasons. No,
here everything is stingier: purple
sour figs, pomegranates, & quinces
share their sweetness more thriftily:
not a juicy cloying sweetness,
but tougher, more precious,
perfectly suited to the softness of the surf/salty surf.
Under your soles continually sand
& a brittle, crackling carpet
of kindling, leafs, seed husks, bark.
Sunnyside with shale & reef
blanched & shimmering, wherever there’s grasp space
thick green fingers of succulents cling:
Every summer the fynbos burns down
to blackened ash inking in drizzling winter rain;
in spring the mountain side alights,
a green fire budding from knots & twigs.
I am beholden to this sustained silence
of rocks, the stubbornness of stone;
I yearn for a glittering isolation,
chiselled by wind & ocean, hardy, m?ne.
(Tr. by Johann de Lange)
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