Friday, February 22, 2013

Under A Telephone Pole - Maree

W&N watercolour and black ink sketch in a hand-made sketchbook with linen, satin-finish paper 

Here in the rural area where I live in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa, telephone poles are becoming a thing of the past. The copper wire has been stolen so many times that Telkom has abandoned the land-line system and resorted to a satellite telephone system. I’ll miss the poles and lines in the landscape, they provided great perches for birds of prey and congregating swallows before they leave on their great winter migration up North. 

I AM a copper wire slung in the air,
Slim against the sun I make not even a clear line of shadow
Night and day I keep singing—humming and thrumming:

It is love and war and money; it is the fighting and the
tears, the work and want,

Death and laughter of men and women passing through
me, carrier of your speech,

In the rain and the wet dripping, in the dawn and the
shine drying,

A copper wire.
- Carl Sandburg



  1. I sympathize with you. I, too, am thankful for all the perches provided by telephone poles ... Often it means hawks are near enough to the road to easily identify.

    1. You're so right Paula. And as trees are also constantly being cut down, these poles are often a life-line for the hawks. Thanks for stopping by!

    2. Sorry Elva! Some Paula must be thinking of me! lol!

  2. Very atmospheric, Maree! Looks kind of desolate...

    1. Yes, it does Kate, one of the farm roads up to a friend's house. It's just here out in the country where this is happening, suburban land-lines are still going strong.

    2. I love the mood you captured! And I was noticing all the hawks on power lines coming home from the City last night...what a treat.

    3. Thanks a lot Kate! Aaaah,lucky you! That's what I'm really going to be missing the most. I loved watching the little Black Shouldered Kite from my window, pouncing on something in the grass from his lofty perch... sigh...


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