Fish Hoek Visitor

The Guard
They were all mere visitors
Splashing in the surf, united by the sea,
While others kept guard beyond the breakers;
Patrolling submarines, watching the waters,
Telling possessive land-lubbers to stick to their turf
And that they’re unwelcome in no-man’s-land;
Warning trespassers they’d be prosecuted.
So the shark-spotter gets the message,
Relaying news to the signallers
And the black flag rises
Expecting something worse
So the bathers retreat to their sand castles
Saying something needs to be done about this invader
As they grumble about the Great White Shark.

   The Playmate

   Basking sun-bathers twitch whiskers,
   Flopping from rock to rock
   Until she dives in, disturbed by curiosity
   To frolick in the kelp gardens.
   Ballerina of the waves,
   Her own tutu glistening in the sun,
   Wanting to play ball
   In a balancing act on the tip of the nose
   Pirouetting in figures of eight
   Flippers streaming over the face 
   Expecting something worse
   As the predator joins the mime
   And the seal disappears in one fell swoop
   And onlookers wish the end were different.

The Fisherman
Deep sea divers pierce the waves,
Harpooning yellow-tail;
Cormorants taking their share of the catch
Robbing the trekkers of their haul
Then straightening up the bends of decompression
After a night on the rocks
Now hanging out to dry on a cross
While watching the rise and fall of the tide
As though there were nothing more to do
Than roll up the washing line, put away the pegs,
Fold up the clothes and pack the case,
Remembering that they caught nothing
But a touch of the sun and the desire to return
To do something about that unwanted visitor.

March 2012 

The Great White Shark has lived in False Bay for decades and longer, but only recently become a threat to bathers. There are plans to erect a protective net.

Images above:
Great White Shark – from Wikimedia – © Terry Goss
Brown Fur Seal – from Wikimedia - © Hans Hillewaert
Crowned Cormorant - from Wikimedia - © SÅ‚awek Staszczuk

Image below:
The black flag on Fish Hoek Beach, indicating 'poor spotting conditions'.© Paul du Plessis

For more photographs of Fish Hoek and the southern Cape Peninsula click here