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.

See also