Fickle Cricket Fans

That’s what talk radio’s all about
When fans call in we hear them shout
“We’ve won, we’ve won”, they jump for joy
Clearly theirs, the victory.

Our boys are heros for the hour
But God forbid they lose the tour!
For then a different, wild refrain
Would issue forth in rage and pain.

That lady caller, full of glee
Would hop into her S.U.V.
You and I would be her wicket
Losing’s tough, but that’s not cricket!

image

Christmas Cheer

Season’s Greetings all!

I once re-labelled a bottle of wine as a personalised gift for a business associate.

It read as follows:

The Christmas cheer that you find here
Intended for your stocking
Comes from Santa’s secret stock
A fact you may find shocking

For through the year he drinks your beer
Your whiskey, cane, your wine
While merrily he hoards his own
Until it’s Christmas Time

Let’s all get tight on Silent Night
My friends and fellow boozers
A glance at Rudolph’s nose will show
The company ‘Nic’ chooses

Next day in bed with aching head
You’ll all be feeling sorry
For yourselves and cursing those
Who said: “One more, don’t worry!”

Merry Christmas

Christmas Cheer

Where Oceans Meet

King Carl Gustaf receives a gift from me while Park Ranger looks on.

Presentation to Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf at Cape Point -10th February, 1996

While I was working part-time at the Two Oceans Curio Shop in the Cape Point Nature Reserve during 1996, a lightning tour of the reserve was arranged for King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, who was in the country for a few days to visit Nelson Mandela.

Having been inspired by the majestic natural surroundings, I had just completed the lyrics for a song I hoped to produce, “Where Oceans Meet”. Then management approached me to fill in the king’s “Two Oceans Certificate”, ornately in calligraphy, which is something I used to do for others who purchased it, if time permitted. I was also asked to do the official presentation to the king the next day.

That evening I had a brainwave. I decided to dedicate the words of my new “song” to the visiting monarch and add it to his new certificate. Maybe it was a little naive of me, but I had no ulterior motive, save to please an esteemed visitor to our beloved shores. I was sure that everything else in the lives of such celebrities was structured and rehearsed, to the point of boredom. Hopefully this gesture would come as a pleasant surprise!

Well, all went according to plan and I was summoned to a lookout point where I quickly handed over the material. (See photo) I remember that I forgot to say “Your Majesty”, using the the more common term “Sir” instead.

A short while after returning to the curio shop, the ranger came in huffing and puffing. He demanded to know what I had given to the king? Apparently, King Gustaf had boarded the waiting tour bus, seated himself at the rear, opened his “gift” and began to read. He was engrossed with it for a long time, and could not be disturbed by those who were anxious to get on with the program.

I agreed to make a copy for the ranger, who left the shop mumbling …

So the King of Sweden got to meet me personally, in addition to Nelson Mandela.

Here are the lyrics:  (The original had the narration typed in small print alongside the main verses)

WHERE OCEANS MEET

1   There is a place where oceans meet
Waves pounding on the shore
Chorus:
It’s at this point
It’s at this point
At this point In Africa
Where gulls and spirits soar

2   There’s memory in the misty hue
And there’s a light that beckons you
Chorus

3   A timeless place where strangers meet
Man and nature, eye to eye
Chorus

4   There’s a reason for the morning dew
And there’s a Light to beckon you
Chorus

5   Come traveler, you’ve come to claim
Your birthright from afar
A souvenir
A souvenir
At this point in Africa
Of who you really are

6   There’s purpose in the oceans blue
And there’s a light to beckon you
Chorus

Repeat: There’s memory in the misty hue
And there’s a light that beckons you

NARRATION BEHIND LYRICS

1st Verse
When people the world over are given the opportunity to explore foreign places, many choose to visit Africa where they feel “compelled” to stand at the perceived tip of that vast continent. Here, they can gaze across two joining oceans, a natural phenomenon of merging currents, which stretches out dramatically from the craggy shore to meet a full horizon. At this moment and at this particular place, Cape Point – South Africa, they will witness nature as intended … undisturbed and free … as free as the seabirds overhead. They will feel their own spirits rise, as if given wings to fly.

2nd Verse
It is at such moments that man reflects inwardly. Instinctively he knows that he is part of all he now beholds. But somehow, he seems to have lost touch. There is a hazy recollection that we were born in harmony with nature … free of greed, prejudice and fear … full of natural gifts … potential! But this reality has become clouded by the mists of time. And, just as the Cape Point Lighthouse towers majestically overhead as a symbol of hope for stricken souls, so there is a divine guiding light above, if we would heed it.

3rd Verse
An eternal truth is unveiled here, where not only oceans but man and oceans meet – so distanced from each other that they have now become virtual strangers. On reflection this great truth dawns … you’re at the point of self discovery. You see the balance that is necessary and how you can play your part to achieve it. You recognize that you must live in harmony with everyone and everything around you. You understand, perhaps for the very first time, that this is what your life is all about.

4th Verse
Every single thing upon this earth, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, has a similar reason for being. Under the bright beacon, your ray of conscience is rekindled. You become aware again.

5th Verse
You who are seeking are now free to take this knowledge with you … if only to take down from the shelf to dust off occasionally. As a permanent reminder. Or to share with others that they may be inspired to make a similar voyage of self-discovery.

6th Verse
There was a greater purpose for your coming to this place where two oceans meet. There was an inner light which compelled you … to give you new direction.

There's as light to beckon you

The Old Cape Point Lighthouse

A Blessing and a Curse

My little compendium would hardly be complete without two “working” poems which some may have seen in my “other-worldly” publication, Four Minutes Past Midnight.

They each serve a purpose.

The first was written in the original hand of my Great great great Grandfather, and fell out of his old prayer book almost 200 years later, to tell me something. So now I’m following instructions, “do thou repeat”, by telling you!

The second is a protective curse, beyond my own grave,  warning would-be pilferers of the consequences of their own actions, should they wish to “cash in” on my (bequeathed) collection of rare family records.

BLESSING

I say to thee, do thou repeat
To the first man thou mayest meet
In lane, highway or open street

That he, and we , and all men live
Under a canopy of love
As broad as the blue sky above

And ere thou leave him say thou this,
Yet one word more, they only miss
The warming of the final bliss

Who will not count it true that love
Blessing, not cursing, rules above
And in it we work and move

One thing further make him know
That to believe these things are so
This firm faith never to forego

In spite of all that seems at strife
With blessing, all with curses rife
That this is blessing, this is life.

CURSE

Know this:

‘Twas Kilgour sweat these records formed
Which, mixed with blood and ink,
Impressions cast and lives adorned
To forge a mighty link

Try break this chain, it can’t be done
Without sore price to pay
When nothing but dishonour’s won
Forever and a day

Who dares to rob, to trick, to seize
Such avarice shall cost
The one thing you most dearly prize
Will be forever lost

Worse; he that would these works destroy
His very soul condemns
To Satan’s brand of misery
Til Doomsday makes amends

Their destiny’s in Kilgour hands
Right to eternity
As long as waves still lap the sands
Let these ‘Impressions’ be

The Kilgour Curse

Captain Kilgour and the Curse

Right there

Just dusted the cobwebs off this one too … a poem I wrote for the occasion of my late Granny Vee’s 90th birthday. (She died aged 102).

The greater family had converged on my cousin’s farm in Winterton, Natal, to attend my gran’s birthday party on August 15, 1992. I had written this poem – I suppose it is a bit la-la like – and rendered it in calligraphy, then framed it. (I believe it looked a whole lot better than it sounds.)

At the appointed time during the proceedings that afternoon, I reached behind a curtain and removed the large gift-wrapped picture frame to hand to her as a surprise. (Also secreted behind the curtain was a packet containing the funniest smurf-like rubber face mask you ever saw – for later jollification).

Well everyone was very inquisitive to see what the parcel contained, jostling and pushing forward as my gran tore open the wrapping. Then she removed the frame and held it up, resting it on her lap for all to see. “My eyes aren’t so good any more, you read it for me, my boy”, she said.

I hardly had to read as  I already knew the words by heart, but I went through the motions as I recited my poem. This allowed me to glance at my grandmother’s face from time to time. Then I noticed her eyes well with tears, and huge teardrops rolled shamelessly down those powdered, wrinkled cheeks. Looking up, I saw that this was having a chain reaction effect on the audience. Tears were splashing down all around, and there was a furtive scrambling for tissues and hankies. Frankly, there wasn’t a dry eye in the place.

Thinking fast, I blurted out: “Gee I didn’t realize my poetry was that bad!”. My hand shot behind the curtain and I grabbed the packet with the funny mask, which I put on immediately. The mood swung instantly. Now I was confronted by a howling throng, slapping their sides, and whose tears had changed to tears of laughter, rolling uncontrollably down their cheeks. (My own tears were hidden by the mask). The situation was hysterical, if I may say so.

RIGHT THERE

(For my beloved Grandmother on the occasion of her 90th Birthday
at Noodhulp Farm, Winterton – 15 August 1992)

Ever since I can recall
Through seasons as they rise and fall
Through times of sadness, times of joy
Yes, since I was a little boy
You’ve been right there for me

No firmer friend nor Beacon bright
Could ever match your guiding light
No golden coin, no earthly, price
Could pay you back for your advice –
You’ve been right there for me

Memories flood life’s diary book
With picnics and the snaps you took
And times we thought were sent from Heaven
Like Christmas at Two- Seven- Seven
You were right there for me

With Pa you travelled far and wide
Until he parted from your side
Then family could be counted on
To rally round and keep you strong
You stayed right there for me

Thank you for the cards you sent
The letters and the time you’ve spent
The book you wrote, the thoughts you shared
For showing me you really cared
You’re still right there for me

The talks we’ve had, the love you gave
Are treasured moments that I’ll save
No matter how the die is cast
I know as long as time doth last
You’ll be right there for me

Love,

Bruce

SIMILAR FUNNY MASK

A similar funny mask, though not nearly as funny-looking as the one I used that memorable day.

Paper Love

Love is in the air

LOVE IS …

 

The original copy of this little poem, handwritten in illuminated calligraphy on scented parchment, was presented to my lady. Who knows what became of it although I still have my calligraphy pens!

PAPER LOVE

Imagine we are making love
Upon this scented sheet
Beneath the soft lamplight we move
Between these lines we meet

Now feel the rhythm of my pen
My urgency to write
The words I long to whisper when
I hold you close at night

Until at last the ink like blood
Explodes inside my veins
Unpunctuated feelings flood
As ecstasy proclaims!

In afterglow of passion spent
This paper to the touch
Reminds you of the love that’s meant
The kind that spells so much

Bruce

 

The same in any language

LOVE

Ringside Seats

Those of you who read my blog:  “Virtualstampmania” will already be familiar with my attempt to compare the different personalities we meet in life with circus characters, as follows:

RINGSIDE SEATS

Watch closely now
The passing parade of life and how
The various performers take their bow

The clowns are easiest to spot
They make us laugh, embarrassed, hot
More often than we admit, or not

Then come tamers of the lion
Their charges caged in bars of iron
Cracking whips, make others whine

Jugglers wearing crowns of kings
Skilled at throwing balls and rings
Manipulate so many things

Trapeze artists who make us fret
It’s life itself they dare to bet
Without a line or safety net

Conjurers whose amazing tricks
Make money vanish and, for kicks,
Your golden rings, and building bricks

Escape artists: masters of illusion
Rely on alibi, timing and confusion
To add to your life’s great delusion

The acrobats of great ability
Do mental flick-flacks with agility
To question your mind’s own fertility

Now who is left, come let us see
The watching crowd … it’s you and me
By far the great majority

We need entertainment for the day
To get our money’s worth we say
But there’s a certain price we pay

If we won’t get our own feet wet
Someone else will put up posters yet
The show goes on – that you can bet.

circus clown