To think that one agonises for weeks or months over what will be read or recited in a moment. A poet can but hope it is the sweetest moment in a reader’s life, echoing in his soul for a lifetime thereafter.

On Inspiration and Execution

Buteo buteo, 8 January 2021. Copyright 2021 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.
Buteo buteo, the Common (or Steppe) Buzzard. Photographed 8 January 2021.

Buzzards, Swallows and Swifts

It is high summer in South Africa, and buzzards are a frequent sight—solitary raptors perched on posts at the waysides. Some take flight at the slightest disturbance, but others are unhindered, stilly surveying the scene.

There are also swallows and swifts on the wing, low over the fields and dirt roads. Whilst the buzzard gazes intently at the grasses below, they feed on flying insects—a spectacle for any who will stop to admire it.

It is sights such as these that compel me to labour at poetry in its traditional sense, to assemble rhyming stanzas that delight in the rural scenes about me—compositions as joyful and simple as the countryside they extol.

A buzzard with swallows and swifts, 8 January 2021. Copyright 2021 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.
Hirundo dimidiata, Pearl-breasted Swallows, and most likely Apus apus, Common Swifts (possibly A. barbatus, African Black Swifts), feeding as B. buteo looks on. Also photographed 8 January 2021.

Writing Steady and Slow

That said, this month past, I have done little writing, using the time to rest and reflect upon my progress in poetic and professional life. In both, I have become convinced that a qualitative approach suits me best.

Therefore, I shall continue my current pace, taking as much time as my compositions require. In this anthology, there are nine unfinished sketches, excluding the “Little Evening Lily” set I am currently developing.

If, as is typically the case, I spend a month on a poem, that should see the compositional part of the anthology completed by the end of the year. I shall then spend a few months more preparing for its publication.

FF_WP_Posts_Poetry-Progress_2021-01

I continue to work on the “Little Evening Lily” poems as summer comes to South Africa. The lily in question has disappeared from the hillsides, but other wild flowers have taken its place. Among them is Cyanella hyacinthoides, its purple petal cuffs and golden stamen gloves earning it the common name Lady’s Hands. They add specks of colour to the waysides which grow ever paler with dry wild grass.

Cyanella hyacinthoides, Blouraaptol, 13 December 2020. Copyright 2020 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.