Yesterday Was an Idyll

A Flock of Sheep, 03 July 2020. Copyright 2020 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.

Though the Overberg—a region in the Western Cape province of South Africa—is in the midst of winter (June to August), the weather was autumnal and the countryside serene: the sun was shining, the air was crisp; all about me was still, except for the gentle bleating of ewes with their lambs and the occasional whistling of stonechats on the wire fences. Is it any wonder, I thought, the pear tree blooms a month before the spring?

A Flock of Sheep, 03 July 2020. Copyright 2020 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.A Flock of Sheep, 03 July 2020. Copyright 2020 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.A Flock of Sheep, 03 July 2020. Copyright 2020 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.

A Poem for a Pear Tree

A Pear Tree Blooming in Winter, 9 August 2018. Copyright 2018 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.
The sight that inspired “A Pear Tree” on 4 August 2018, photographed (again) a few days later.

Beside the dirt road that leads to the hamlet where I live, a pear tree stands alone at the edge of a field. Every year, it blooms at the beginning of August, a month before the arrival of the South African spring, delighting the passer-by modestly yet spectacularly. In August 2018, I wrote a few rough stanzas in response to that very tree under the working title “A Pear Tree”. Now, nearly two years later, I am ready to develop them into a finished poem.

Poetry Publication Progress (2020-06-24)

Cattle on a Hill

Cattle on a Hill, 5 December 2019. Copyright 2019 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.
Cows in the stubble with their young. (It is early summer in South Africa.)

I captured this impromptu photograph whilst out among the hills, late yesterday afternoon, and shared it with a friend. “It complements your art,” he said. The inverse, however, is true: my art seeks to complement it—indeed, the Overberg1 inspires the Theme (Wonder), Subject (Natural Beauty) and Style (Simple Lyric Poetry) of my work. Here, every resource must be husbanded, and the minimalism of the landscape is the result of drudgery. Both shape my attitude to words when I extol this region in verse.

  1. A rural region of the Western Cape province of South Africa.