Nonagenarian poet Lewis Watling, a familiar face at literary event in the Scenic South, submitted his poem
Familiars in Fish Hoek
For seven years I’ve lived in fresh Fish Hoek,
loved the hustling, blustering interplay
of life on life within this mix of race.
Please let me tell you how well I love this place,
its folk, its passions and the very special way
of giving life to both reality and book.
Now most of my familiars live in this urban sprawl
as well as in Imagination’s thrall.
I cannot name them all, but may you feel
the living spirit of something very real.
First, dear Val, cover designer of my book,
‘The Book of Being’; and the Fish Hoek Scribblers
scribbling away at secret dreams.
Sybil and Oliver, Effie, Karen, Paul. It seems
that they, like Angela, Helen, Sheila , are mere nibblers
of words, but they compress Fish Hoek
into titbits that tell you how they live
and laugh and sometimes weep. And then, of course there’s Viv
whose ‘Scenic South’ keeps up a commentary
about this place, and what it’s like TO BE.
Nor would I omit to laud the Library,
A treasure –house of literary pursuits, and staff
ever ready with snacks, even a cup of tea
for all the oldies as they watch a D.V.D.
every Friday afternoon for chat and laugh.
It’s such an oasis of tranquillity.
And I am mindful of Jenny, Garth and Sue
and Jean and all the others, who
enrich Fish Hoek’s life by what they do,
and extend a welcome for you… and you… and you.
Then there’s the galaxy of all those
without whom I would have been Fish Hoek bound;
Hugh and Jim, Oliver, Silke, Paul,
Gillian, Di, Pam, Sybil and all
who picked me up and ferried me around..
Their generosity ever spreads and glows.
In Fish Hoek these last seven years
bringing so many laughs, so many tears,
have, like the South-Easter, been an emetic
that has seldom felt ersatz or synthetic.
But there are here also the Haves and Have-Nots,
and even they, familiars, every day,
nudge at the boundaries to join a few more dots;
and, as our children mix and fight and play,
they’ll find that love which pursues all constantly.
And, although I know I’ll soon be leaving, my heart’s full
of precious, timeless moments , so beautiful,
so prescient, they deserve another look
at what may come alive in dear Fish Hoek.