John Garth Raubenheimer

(21/12/1947 / Johannesburg)

For Rebecca Scarberry... Author Of Messages From Henry

I can't find my copy
of de Saint Exupery's 'Wind, Sand, and Stars'
(perhaps I gave it to our church) .

So - as a fellow-writer you'll appreciate -
I've done a little research.
Well... I googled it, okay.

It's his story of three Saharan Moors
who were flown to the French Alps
and led by their guide
up to a tremendous waterfall.

They stood transfixed.
Back home they'd march for days
to find a muddy pool of water
mixed with camel urine, to drink.

'That's all there is to see, '
their guide said,
'We must wait.'
'Wait for what? '
'The end.'

When - they were wondering -
would God grow weary of His madness?

I have a picture of these men -
squatting; sitting down
to observe cross-legged
the perpetual miracle;

their guide faltering
into helplessness,
suffering the earth-bound quandary of
all guides
whose plans for their charges have gone wrong.

And I have a picture of you,
- one perhaps singular to me,
as I contemplate the shuttering of my twitter-feed:
sitting with your three cats

- lulled into sleepy cat-delight...

draped over the blanket
you have draped across your knees
to shield them from the thin, March wind...

close to the impasse-annihilating spray
of your waterfall
your mind excited, charged,

the miracle, unfolding on your page.

Submitted: Sunday, March 10, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, March 19, 2014

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Material taken from a book review by Bobby Matherne, Copywright 1999. He quotes - and so I do - from page 144 of Wind, Sand, And Stars, by Antoine de Saint Exupery, published by Harcourt, Brace & Co, NY, in 1940. Rebecca, who I met virtually on Twitter, likes to write next to a waterfall on her farm, with her many cats by her side.

Comments about this poem (For Rebecca Scarberry... Author Of Messages From Henry by John Garth Raubenheimer )

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  • Dean Schechinger (9/1/2013 11:34:00 AM)

    When - they were wondering -
    would God grow weary of His madness?
    I like this timeless question. Mankind hasn't any answer for it.
    Ms. Scarberry's writings are full of that wonderment to which your poem a fitting tribute. (Report) Reply

  • Rebecca Scarberry (3/10/2013 7:15:00 AM)

    Thank you for this, John. It has my mind spinning with ideas for a new novel. As I told you on Twitter, I sit by my waterfall, pad and pencil in hand to write the next chapter of my WIP. I usually have 3 cats by my side. As I write, I read aloud. The cats look up at me and they look like they enjoy hearing my voice. I have a picture of my waterfall on my home Facebook page. You're a great poet. I enjoy reading everything you write. ~Rebecca Scarberry (Scarberryfields on Twitter) . (Report) Reply

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