A poetic end to 2023

A poetic end to 2023
Jacqui van Heerden

The holiday season is a good time to take a break, connect with the things and people that you love, reflect on the last and the New Year and connect with nature.

The Rider

She rode in on a horse, flaming red hair and haunting green eyes,

Where did she come from?

Why was she here?

She dropped a seed

And did not stop

People looked and wondered

The rider knew the way

To follow the remnants of the one before

Carrying her forwards moment by moment

Place to place

Tireless in her work

Slowly she lifted the cold blanket from the fields, the meadows, the forests

The sparkle off the dew of the leaves returned

Greens of the leaves unfolded

She called the soft rains to fall

Rivers. Streams to remember their paths

Amongst the insects, the birds, the animals and us

There was a quickening, there were things to be done

Old cloaks of winter shook out

Hearths cleared of winter ash

Growth was everywhere

Flowers were picked

Babies were born

Gardens were tended and fields worked

Dawn to dusk grew longer

It was a time of conversations, of dreams


This was the way of knowing and a comfort of the timing of things

Where nature led the way


Until today

Where the suns rays are lost in a cloud of remnants of our wantings

The greyness of degraded land,

Filled with the echoes of lost trees

Silence fills the space left by the orchestra of nature

Water flowing now steeped in the stench of greed vomiting into the sea

Deep caverns blasted into the earth leaving gaping wounds

Mistakenly thinking the earth did not feel

Creatures unable to find rest, plants confused by the changing of seasonal signposts


The truth tellers had given up drowned by the tiredness of the people.

Lost is the rider with her steady pace

Moment to Moment

Place to place

Tireless in her work


All over the world in little pockets of gardens, gentle hands still touch the earth tending to her remembering the order of things

Sparks of care and love give hope to the sun to continue to shine and the seed to break through the concrete

As beacons to light the path for the rider to return. •

Photography by Markus Spiske. 

John Buncle

John Buncle

February 14th, 2024 - Felicity Jack
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