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De Waal Venter

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

On track

Life training

When he realised

that he was a train,

he was disconcerted.

Not that he was unhappy

with the main track he was on;

it ran between major cities

and he carried passengers

that paid highly for their passage.

But he developed a longing

to explore side tracks

when he thundered past them

on the flat belly

of the baking Karoo afternoon.

Where did they lead to?

he wondered.

Perhaps to scenes unseen before,

perhaps to a people

living together in delight,

perhaps to a mountain

half seen through mystical mist.

One day

there was something wrong with the track;

he was shunted onto a siding.

His heart beat fast,

this was it!

After a short distance

he had to stop,

the line came to an end.

It was very quiet in the heat.

Far away a bird

chipped tiny holes in the day.

He looked back at himself.

He couldn’t see the end,

nor the beginning.


Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    May 22nd, 2010 @17:02 #

    "Far away a bird/ chipped tiny holes in the day." Love it!

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">De Waal</a>
    De Waal
    May 23rd, 2010 @14:13 #

    Hello Helen

    Thanks for your kind remark :)

    After I'd written the line, I realised that their is an interesting tension between "chirped" and "chipped".


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