In the reworked version of the “Autumn” poem thus far, I have preserved the rhythm of the original composition. Recently, however, it seemed to me that certain lines contained a superfluous adjective—there merely as a legacy of the original cadence—contributing nothing vital to the work (the equivalent of having “Young” before “Mary had a little lamb”). I have now removed these adjectives from their respective lines. Already, the composition is more fluid, measured and succinct.

‪The great burden of the artistic soul is an unbearable sensitivity. What scarcely disturbs the surface in others is to it a tempest. ‬

I strive to compose poetry that a young mind can enjoy, and so I often forego the “clever” for the “simple”. Occasionally, the Muse grants me a combination of the two, and it is the most gratifying thing!

After a busy week, filled with the mundanities of life, I devote the weekend to the sublimities of poetry—and in so doing, restore my soul.

My first ever sighting of a Secretarybird (Sagittarius serpentarius), yesterday. It stood in a field on the left side of the road, but upon seeing me, flew gracefully to a field on the right. There, it alighted, then slowly paced up the hillside. At 1.5 metres (approximately 40 inches) tall, it is an impressive creature both at rest and in flight!

Secretarybird, 14 February 2020. Copyright 2020 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.
Secretarybird, Copyright 1993, 1997, 2002, 2011, Variously Random House Struik (Pty) Ltd, Norman Arlott, F H Chamberlain Trading (Pty) Ltd

Illustration: Sasol eBirds of Southern Africa Universal App., Copyright 1993, 1997, 2002, 2011: Variously Random House Struik (Pty) Ltd, Norman Arlott, F H Chamberlain Trading (Pty) Ltd

I am, of course, deep in the entrails of the “Autumn” poem, but I confess I have been salivating in anticipation of developing “Little River”, ever since I composed the original sketch, last spring. Now and then, in idle moments, I run over its rudimentary lines and beam with excitement for what they might become!