(Eyes of the Aloe)
Did you watch a gibbous moon
entangled in those starfish eyes
of wise old thorny Kokerboom
beneath Namakwa’s starry skies?
Did you touch his horny hide
and ask him pardon for your rude
request that he in you confide
his thoughts and secrets un-eschewed?
Did he take you far away
beyond the feeble lunar glow
into his gleaming milky way
to places only Kokers know?
Where spirits fly on angel wings
for starfish eyes can see all things.
© WW Schwim, 2014
Namaqualand in the Northern Cape is famous for its spectacular spring show of daisies but is also host many other strange plants.
The Kokerboom or Quivertree (Aloe dichotomais) is actually a species of aloe that thrives in the harsh conditions of this desolate region.
Called Chotje by the indigenous San people who hollowed out the stem to make quivers for their arrows.
Some shaman practices considered it to be a guide in out of body travel.
Patricia Curtis: I disagree with you though I think the Kokerboom is sad and lonely on his rocky perch and can’t wait for the spring rains to bring the barren land to life.
If we can try to ignore what havoc mankind it inflicting on the earth, we can see evidence all around us that it is still a wonderful world.
I don’t just hug trees I talk to plants as well.
Wally Schwim: That old tree is so antisocial he even blossoms in the driest times when the other flowers sleep. Of course that is nature’ s way of providing food for bees and other creatures when they need it most. He not lonely but content in solitude although sometimes gathers in family groups. This is not to say he doesn’t respond to a friendly pat and is actually quite conversational once you get to know him. I think he distrusts people (for good reason) and that is why behaves so threatening to the casual passer by. I slept in a Kokerboom forest once, a very spiritual experience!