Today while you slept
I lay on your day bed
My gaze turned seaward
As yours so often must fall
And I watched the bright fishing boats
With their catches of silver
Ride the narrow passage between Meeurots
And the harbour wall

Today while you lay fast
In your ocean of sleep
I watched the morning light
Break open the day
And I watched the broken waves
Roll their long whiteness
And the sea mist drift
Across the bay

I thought I saw you
A white gull on the wing
Bank into the wind
In the way gulls do
I thought I saw you
Fly over that bay
Clean over Meeurots
And into the blue

Today as if through your eyes
I watched the green water
Spill over that wall
And the white foam free
And I watched that heaving tide
Lift over the breakwater
Lift again and again
And fall back to the sea

And the sky was just the sky
And the sea was just the sea

And then the whales came
And then the whales came
And then the whales came
And then the whales …

On the stoep of the small cottage in Yzerfontein where Rykie and Jude lived, there was a day bed on which I sometimes lay while Rykie was resting. It faced onto the bay, the harbour and Meeurots – Gull Rock - the large guano-stained rock that stands beyond the harbour wall.
The song is made up of images from a combination of visits, one being Rykie’s seventy- fourth birthday: a small party, we had lunched on all manner of delicacies. As always the conversation was lively, the stories and memories flowed. When the time came for us to go, no one wanted to go. It was as if we were waiting for something special.
And then the whales came into the bay.

  • Barbara Fairhead