When after weeks of agonising over a poem, its completion is in sight, and its format, length, rhyming scheme and metre—the very words that make up its lines—seem so obvious, natural and inevitable, a part of one (somewhat confusingly and despite knowing the answer) ponders how something so simple—and, to one’s mind, pleasant—could arise from so agonising and complex a process!

I have whittled the variations of the last stanza of “Mist on the Mountain” down to three; a task that has consumed me for more than a week. One of these shall appear in the final draft, likely in altered form. As the completion of the poem draws near, I am overcome with anticipation!

A Steenbok?

Steenboksberg, 19 October 2018. Copyright 2018 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.
Steenboksberg, taken exactly one year ago next Sunday, on 19 October 2018.

It is my custom on Sundays to venture out among the hills just before daylight. Twice now I have spotted on one of the hillsides an antelope browsing.

Though on both occasions it was too distant for an accurate identification, I believe it to be a female Steenbok1 (Raphicerus campestris)2.

I base this solely upon the general shape and colour of the creature—and the name of the nearby mountain, Steenboksberg3 (Steenbok’s Mountain)!

  1. Afrikaans for “stone-buck”, pronounced [steeyin-bok].
  2. Steenbok (Wikipedia)
  3. Afrikaans, pronounced [steeyin-boks-behRCH] with a trilled [RRR] and the [CH] in “loch” (not [ck] but the guttural [kccch]).