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Three short poems of South Africa

Updated on September 14, 2012

Short introduction

Here are three short poems which I hope will find resonance with my readers.

The second poem was written when I was attending the poetry workshops run by Lionel Abrahams.

The third poem is the only one of my poems I have ever read to an audience. A restaurant in Johannesburg held a series of peotry readings some years ago and I was able to share "I come from a valley" on one of the evenings.

Don't want to explain too much - just for those who are not familiar with South African terminology, the "Highveld" is the central plateau of South Africa, in particular the area around Johannesburg, where the winters are generally very cold and dry, the summers hot and stormy.

Please let me know what you think of these short offerings.

Thanks for reading them.

Felt like I was Making It

Felt like I was making it today

When the sun rose over

Houses slowly coming out of darkness

And birds wheeled over fields

Bordered with trees poking

Through the haze of morning.

Felt like I was making it this morning

As the light fought back the dark

Shadows grew shorter as the view grew longer.

Highveld Storm

In the winding light

A bird’s song cuts straight

While under the thunder

Rain chills the listener

And on the wind

Mimosa scent reminds

I Come from a Valley

I come from a valley of acorn and rotting leaf

where veld and river meet.

Dark water under the trees

sunshine on the hills.

The oriole counterpoints the herd boys’ cries.

I watch the mysterious the eel in murky water

A bell echoes through the valley.

I hold an acorn, rubbing off some soil.

The shell of the acorn is ridged and cracked -

it smells of life.

Frogs punctuate the river’s flow.

I sit in the coolness of the sunlight

hearing the trees as they bend to watch.

I am home

I am safe.

Copyright Notice

The text and all images on this page, unless otherwise indicated, are by Tony McGregor who hereby asserts his copyright on the material. Should you wish to use any of the text or images feel free to do so with proper attribution and, if possible, a link back to this page. Thank you.

© Tony McGregor 2009


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    • lave profile image


      5 years ago


    • PADDYBOY60 profile image


      6 years ago from Centreville Michigan

      Loved the poems. Thanks.

    • sligobay profile image


      7 years ago from east of the equator

      Hello Tony. This is a delicious offering of three unique poems. The first contains my favorite comparative, "Shadows grew shorter as the view grew longer." There is nothing quite like the lifting of a morning haze.

      Your description of sight, sound and smell in the brevity of Highveld is wonderful. I've never tried to envision a "winding" light or a birdsong "cutting straight" before.

      The light,dark and murkiness of the water in the third is quite vivid while the bell tolls,cry of the herders, oriole's song and the sound of bending trees creates a quiet cacophony. The coolness of the sunshine is a very original image. Excellent work my friend.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have no words to say man fantastic

    • DON BALDERAS profile image


      8 years ago

      I just hope people will take good care of the earth so that feelings as expressed in your poems will really have to be felt by them, and find of course reasons for inviting inspiring poems like yours. Wonderfully done. Bravo!

    • tonymac04 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony McGregor 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Cyekin - thanks for your kind words and no, have not published anywhere except here.

      Blackreign - thank you also for the kind words and hugs to you also!

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting, good people. I really appreciate it very much.

      Love and peace


    • blackreign2012 profile image


      9 years ago

      This is a great piece also,, you are a wonderful poet ~hugs~

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      You make some wonderful poems! Have you published any?

    • tonymac04 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony McGregor 

      10 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks for the comments!They are very much appreciated.

      Love and peace


    • GeneriqueMedia profile image


      10 years ago from Earth

      As short as they are, as Tom said, you have some great imagery. I can almost imagine the Time Life cover view. =)

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      great poetry!

    • profile image

      Peter Kirstein 

      10 years ago

      Dig these poems, especially the second having grown up on the highveld.

    • Hawkesdream profile image


      10 years ago from Cornwall

      My dayjob takes me to the sea within an hour of waking, and you have described the feeling exactly...........'Felt like I was making it'...........Thank you

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      The second one was wonderful although I did like both. Theres a sense of peace in that second one.

    • tonymac04 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony McGregor 

      10 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks so much for all the positive comments! They really mean a lot to me.

      Love and peace


    • franciaonline profile image


      10 years ago from Philippines

      In the winding light

      A bird's song cut straight.......I like the imagery. I feel I am at the scene you are describing.

      Thanks for this heartwarming poem.

    • maven101 profile image


      10 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Lovely verse, Tony...You must have a truly beautiful country there...I played a round with Gary Player a few years ago, company junket, and I remember him commenting on the Mimosa trees and how they compared with the ones in Palm Springs, which were just starting to bloom then. He is a wonderful ambassador for South Africa....

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image


      10 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Mimosas are just blossoming here...Thanks for these poems...

    • Benjimester profile image

      Benji Mester 

      10 years ago from San Diego, California

      Wow, those poems are both fantastic! I love the first one, especially the opening line. "Felt like I was making it today," evokes a sense of deep wellbeing about the world. I often get that feeling whenever I'm awake in the early morning quiet, and I love it. Thanks for the awesome verse!

    • ajcor profile image


      10 years ago from NSW. Australia

      Mimosa scent reminds - love this line - I can almost smell the wattle over here!...cheers

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom rubenoff 

      10 years ago from United States

      Nice imagery! Intiguing ending to the second poem.


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