Kestrel by Brian Walter
– from Allegories of the Everyday
It’s easy now to slip uphill, in cars,
snaking up these smooth tarred roads
to the Valley of Desolation, sacrificing
all the slow and proper awe
a hiker earns, coming up the harder paths
through dolerite rock and mountain veld.
And down the beetling kloofs and krantzes,
we view the old and leafy frontier town
and her growing grey townships,
off-set and uncreative still, and sad
in that old South African way
that cleaves our landscapes, yet, and hearts.
But now a kestrel hovers
‒ just out there ‒
his wings stretched static
‒ fittingly a-flutter ‒
holding his position in the air,
lingeringly waiting, watchful,
hunting amongst the rock and scrub
for critters that scurry unaware
‒ as sharp-eyed time holds the skies,
watching us, with kestrel eyes.