Sunset on the River, a Poem By : Jan Weeratunga
Sunset on the River
Jan Weeratunga, South Africa
Reds, pinks, oranges and gold’s catch the edge of the clouds and slowly turn the evening sky into a canvas waiting to be painted.
The sun’s last ray’s bounce off the cloud’s lining as it sinks gradually beyond the horizon.
Playfully the rays dance off the shimmering surface of the river,
Another fish jumps from the water,
Sending a concertina of ripples to the riverbank’s shoreline.
Golden waves approach as the setting sun sinks slowly below the horizon,
And small waves lap the side of our boat in an unending regular rhythm.
The repetitive knocking of the fender against the hull takes on the beat of the river,
Tapping the boat and shoreline alike,
It’s constant rhythm disturbed only by the wake of a passing boat or water bird landing on its surface.
Crickets join in with their own percussion as the melody is taken up by the surrounding birdlife,
Each chorus, their evening song as they head along the river bank in search of their nights roost.
Insects buzz over the surface, darting this way and that,
As swallows swoop swiftly, snapping them up in their gaping beaks.
Against the Western horizon a kingfisher dives into calmer waters bathed in a glorious warm orange light.
To the East the night’s first star is born,
It shimmers and shivers into life,
Just as the river serenely falls to sleep.
Peace is coming to the river as the ‘time between times’ –
That suspended few minutes of sunset –
Links all things in this world in a glorious golden moment before darkness descends.
Gradually the river slips into sleep
And the moon begins to rise and perform her dance across the waters glassy surface;
Replacing her brothers golden rays with her own silver ones.
Silver shimmering light bathes all beneath it,
Only disturbed by an occasional fish breaking free of its watery surrounds,
To be touched and blessed by the moonlight,
Before diving back down to the river bed.
The moon arches across the night sky,
Playing with the stars,
Until her brothers warming rays tell her it is once again time to allow the miracle of night and day to exchange places.