It is spring in South Africa (September to November), and the Greater Striped Swallows (Cecropis cucullata) are returned from north Africa for the breeding season. A week ago, I photographed one of their many mud-pellet nests in the entrails of a bridge where I often stop to admire them as they frolic in the air.
When I survey pastoral scenes such as these, I wish that I could outstretch my arms and embrace them! In my desperation, I do so with words—fumbling lines that do none of it justice. If I could write poetry so sweet, verses so simple—silences so sustaining!
It was overcast yesterday with heavy fog on the mountains and so the aptest weather for working on “Mist from the Mountains”. Today, the fog persists, accompanied by heavy rain early this morning. Venturing out regardless, just before first light, I surveyed the fog-laden mountains and was rewarded with the perfect word for a line in the poem that has troubled me over the past few days (not the “Solemn, sombre and slow” line I singled out yesterday but the one that follows it). It seems the early bard catches the word.