We walked in groups in the sprawling forest that clung to the foot of the mountain. Aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and neighbours gathered for the hike, trampling over pine needles and tripping over knotted roots. Animals squirreled out of sight and up into higher branches to give way to the invading human swarm that was us. We picked pine cones from the musty ground and plucked out the nuts. Tasting sweet and tangy on our childish tongues. Grown ups carried baskets full of baked chicken, corn on the cob, green salads and garlicky bread. We stopped to eat at the stream that bubbled and whistled over pebbles and crawling roots.
Summer’s sun winked
through tree tops.
Smiles and chatter.
We were all together.
I remember a massive community hike in what I think was the Newlands forest in Cape Town, when I was about seven or eight if not younger. The hike ended in a picnic. I remember it as one of the most spontaneous and memorable occasions of my life, as it was a spur of the moment thing for me. I suppose that is what life seems like for kids who are unaware of the plans adults make and find themselves in surprising situations.
In my memory, I clearly remember a lot of pine trees and pine cones. They are not indigenous trees. Settlers to the region created pine plantations that still form a large part of the forest.
The featured image shows what the indigenous forest looks like, more lush and tropical-looking.
Shared with dVerse for their haibun Picnic prompt.
I’m just about getting this in before the link closes!
Written for dVerse Poets Pub open link night. I missed the chance to post on Amaya’s Cascade challenge earlier this week so getting a two in one. It’s not in the exact form, but learned a lot in the process!
Images from hideawayreport.com (1) and wildfoottravel.com (2)
Summer rages on his deathbed, fighting off the change in atmospheric pressure. Minute turns of an invisible weather dial, the sun beats mercilessly down on dust, tar, bricks and sweating scalps. Children delight in a deceivingly endless warmth, only the old feel the new chill in the breeze. Winter arrives unannounced, freezing the greenery till they drop to the ground, brown upon brown.
This is my first attempt ever at a haibun. Very challenging, but rewarding too.
March is blazingly hot here in Botswana. But it is the month when it starts to shift into Winter. And so, it feels as if Summer is turning up the heat in defiance of the coming season. (So very Dylan Thomas) We hardly have an Autumn or Spring to speak of. Literally one day it is Summer, the next thing it is 3 degrees celsius at night.
I look forward to your feedback, so I can learn and improve my poetic craft.