Thursday, 16 April 2020


The sunrise is spectacular,
so we step over the grass road,
to the unfenced farm behind us,
to get a better view of the horizon.

Sacred ibis fly in formation above -
an arrow point trailing long ribbons
of white and black bodies scything the sky,
while gold bleeds into the flesh
of the clouds.

Padding back home
through the wild veld,
our eyes fall
onto a pile,
and another, and another

- three heaps of young, white ears:
abalone, abandoned here,
on black nets.

There's been a ban on harvesting them,
twelve years.
We wonder, have these lain that long?

Poachers must have scooped them out
and left these cairns.

'I feel sick,' you say,
as the sun climbs higher
and the wind cries
eerily around the corners
of the place where we stay.

- Silke Heiss, 14th April 2020

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