Jo Boyle

Black thoughts

Violet skies
Predators circling –
Crash, tremble, kill.

Birds migrating
Panic rising –
Crash, tremble, kill.

Desert sandstorm
Unnatural power –
Crash, tremble, kill.

African violence
Bayonets glinting –
Crash, tremble, kill.

Funeral procession
Dark reflections –
Crash, tremble, kill.

Jo Boyle

Farewell, goodbye, adieu

Twenty past six, July the 3rd 2004, Cape Town International Airport.
Panic consumes me. I stare at what I’m leaving behind.
I feel loss, mourning engulfs me as I walk away.
Thirty five years is a long time. My heart beats faster. I make my way to the boarding gate, imagining the emptiness at Heathrow.
Frightened, contemplating a future without my constant companion.
I am bereft.
A cup of coffee, a glass of wine, unaccompanied;
A meal out, unthinkable;
Will life ever be the same?
No, not for a long time!
I shiver.
I have walked away from my faithful friend.
My cigarettes.

Jo Boyle

The Challenge

The black eagle soaring, swooping, wings extended freefalls inside the mountains whose edges are silhouetted against the cold blue winter sky. Sounds of footfall on granite as the hikers trudge upwards to the summit. The mountain hard and unforgiving beckons them, taunting, merciless in its arrogance.

“I can’t do this; I can’t climb on the edge”.

“You can do it, don’t look down, take it slowly”.

“Shit, what am I going to do, I can’t go back either”.

The eagle climbs higher and higher. The hikers drag one foot in front of the other, their progress hampered by the wet slippery rocks and icy wind.

“Its ok, don’t panic I’m right behind you, remember, take it slowly one step at a time.”
The eagle swoops low, intent on its prey. Does it sense the pain of the hikers’ long climb? The hiker looks up at the raptor. She sees its freedom to move through the heavens as a sign to let go of the fear, the panic.

The mountain becomes more than a challenge, something to be conquered, another conquest of man over nature. She embraces the mountain, its majestic dignity. The eagle flies up and away from the inside of the mountains. The hikers slog upwards – towards the peak.
“Keep going; don’t stop. Slowly, slowly. One step at a time, we’re nearly there”.

She sees the eagle return, circling overhead. She leans into the wind and takes the last weary step onto the summit, her goal.

“Well done my darling, your highest summit yet congratulations. There will be no stopping you now”.