April 30, 2018 by petrujviljoen

waterfall just after dawn

Copyright Petru J Viljoen

I’m impatient. My need is great. So I leave. The cat will be at the gate when I get back. If guilt was a bag I’d shrug it off but it isn’t.

Dress: strictly casual. So casual in fact I’d be embarrassed if I met anyone. But then, if I did I’d have forgotten myself already, so soon, and greet because nothing is the matter. But I won’t. I haven’t in seven years of walking this area. I pray. Do you understand why?

True solitude – walking, sitting, walking there and then there, some climbing often, over boulders, rocks, down slopes, through streams, clinging to trees while making my way along the very edge of a rock-strewn bank of a serious river at the bottom of a gorge which slope is at a 40m steep tilt.

All senses awake to SEE. Colour, shape, form, pattern. Imagining Gondwana, how still, how quiet it must have been so the sandstone could meld, the lava cool in a swirl. I don’t close my eyes to see a whale swim by.

I lay me down in dappled

light, having drunk –

the river laughs with


Linked to Dverse Poets


29 thoughts on “Healing

  1. Lovely description of the nature around us. Thank you> Liz

  2. I can see this in my mind so vividly.

  3. I like the image of the sandstone melding and the lava cooling, it being a gift to perceive these massive and ancient formations.

  4. I was there on the walk with you. Thank you.

  5. kim881 says:

    Vividly written – and a cat, too! A relaxed write and walk, I’m with you too, taking in the boulders, rocks and streams. I’ve never bee to a gorge but can see it in my mind’s eye – and a whale! Such a beautiful haiku!

  6. Suzanne says:

    I really enjoyed your haibun and loved that you felt the energies of Gondwana over there in South Africa. I often feel those energies when I walking in the bush here in Australia too. What a great connection to learn that they are still present in your neck of the woods too.

  7. Mish says:

    I like the terseness of the opening lines that lured me in. The walk seems to be a bit treacherous, but beautiful.

  8. Jo says:

    “If guilt were a bag, I’d shrug it off but it isn’t.” — very nice!

  9. hypercryptical says:

    I love solitude for it opens my eyes.
    Anna :o]

  10. Charley says:

    How wonderfully primal. For some reason, as I read this, I imagined you (which doesn’t have a formed image of you, and that’s more than okay), finding a bit of wet clay and painting your face, your arms… in prayer.

    I’m sorry, but I’m the reader, and you released this poem into my hands!

  11. qbit says:

    “Imagining Gondwana,” — wow! And the Haiku is excellent!

  12. Frank Hubeny says:

    I can imagine that walk of solitude from your description. I can see how meeting someone would make one forget oneself.

  13. jillys2016 says:

    The textures of the walk and the climb are palpable; really well done. Two things stand out the most for this reader – the cat at the gate and the whale line – one terribly common and one not; both hold symbolic meaning and stark images. The Haiku could be read a thousand times and still be new. Think I’ll go read it again…

  14. erbiage says:

    Nice hike you have there. Thanks for letting me tagalong

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As the World Burns

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