SPIRITS OF THE MOUNTAIN

On the whispering paths of the Drakensberg
where the cold peaks pierce the sky.
Down each of the valleys a rivulet clatters
and the spirits of the waters jabber and chatter
to me as I wander by.

They speak in the voices of those I once loved
and those who are no longer there.
They tell of the sadness of lives that went wrong
and of moments of joy, and laughter and madness
and of fears, and of times of despair.

There’s Tyro the sailor-man, who yarns of the sea,
of skysails and denizens and wind tousling his hair.
And there’s Milly, my lover, whose laugh was pure silver
And Jenny my first wife, the one I loved truly,
who explains that her sadness, was too much to bear.

Down in the  valley, all streams merge into,
a dark river surging on under the sun.
Its body amorphous, mysterious and mighty,
as strong as an army and as bold as a knight
and voices, one million, crying “we are all one”.

On reaching the high cliff it throws its proud chest out,
then falls from the crags to the valley of ferns.
It bursts into sun-drops, a million bright splinters
sparkling and twisting and for one tiny instant,
each drop has its own life, as it dances and turns.

Bounding and laughing, they bounce in the rock pool
then merge back together as each little life fades.
Back into one river, powerful and potent
with the deep voice of thunder, that roars with omniscience,
it is all things and no thing, and a great peace pervades.