93 year old local poet Lewis Watling has submitted two poems, one in celebration of his 93rd birthday and one a wish for us all for 2013.  He read Can You Believe I’m Ninety-three  at the Literary Tea at Fish  Hoek Library at the end of  November .

He writes:

        I have been largely impeded from most public events by a period of sustained immobility. An inability to walk for more then ten minutes at a time virtually imprisoned me for the past six weeks, and at one stage I really thought my creativity was at an end and I was on the way out. However, a new surge of energy has overtaken me, and I am able to forward to you the poem that I read, ‘Can You Believe I’m Ninety-three’ and also ‘A Season of Clear Shining’, I am, in fact, virtually back to an old persona with bits added on.” 

I am relieved to hear he is back to his old persona and am intrigued by the “bits added on”!


Can You Believe I’m Ninety-three

                                                                Can you believe I’m Ninety-three,

yes, three score years and thirty-three!.

still laughing aloud at being me.

The medics say, “We have heard your song

and think you ought to come along

so we can determine what went wrong…”

They can’t believe I’m ninety-three!


Can you believe i’m ninety-three,

yes, three score years and thirty-three,

and still receiving reminders free

of all this planet means to me…

half-forgotten tears of joy;

glimpses of wonder, man and boy.

Let no-one threaten to destroy

the knowledge that I’m ninety-three.


                                                                Can I believe I’m ninety-three

although assured longevity

rests lightly on my will to be;

although I’ve felt the mystery

of loss and death and curtailed power

joy still cradles this late hour.

Am  I the seed and, somehow, the Sower?

Can I believe I’m ninety-three,

Yes, three score years and thirty-three?


However dark or threatening the storm, there always comes, if we are patient …

A Season of Clear Shining

                                                When the tumult tumbles round us

and the conflicts all confound us,

as the warriors of our differences all swarm,

may the weeping, wailing, whining

herald a Season of Clear Shining,

a time of realigning

pure spirit after storm.


When all around’s dissension

and threatens ill intention;

when anarchy appears to be the norm;

may all disparate factions

stumble on life’s true attractions –

pure spirit’s counteractions

of Clear Shining after storm.


There’s no finer contentment

than the balm that our whole life meant,

the truth that, all wholesome, wise and warm,

is a paradigm defining

an end to grief and pining

in a Season of Clear Shining

for our spirit after storm.


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