Saturday, 25 October 2014

Breathing African Air

This is one of my poems about Africa. It is also the name of the poetry book I plan to publish.

Breathing African Air

Flightless dust bathes the air as the ostrich
dances on two-toed feet to Africa’s beat;
Musty air hangs humid and motionless
’til rain quenches the parched and red-hot heat –
This is Africa: the birthplace of man.

A rainbow stretches across basalt cliffs
and cascading falls; painted rock faces
imprint chronicles of man migrating
across desert, savannah, terraces –
This is Africa: the motion of man.

Small streams meander till rapids beat rock;
Turbulent whitewater erodes the way,
rumbling and tumbling to lose themselves in
cascading cataracts’ mist of spray –
This is Africa: unquenched quest of man.

On blue-green savannah in haze of heat
the springbok stands a statue and gazes;
Zebra camouflaged in shaded dry bush
flicks flies as robust buffalo grazes –
This is Africa: the treasure of man.

Marula mampoer makes monkey mellow;
While elephants forage fermented fruit,
even-toed giraffe spreads and almost splits,
an amazing feat for legs, to lap near coot –
This is Africa: for Safari man.

The albatross dynamically soars;
Nose tubed in anticipation it breathes
salt laden air, polluted like the depths,
where dolphin dances and dives, wrestles, wreathes –
This is Africa: the refuse for man.

Death in rotting carcasses call raptors
in their hordes, to scavenge the battlefields
where fear falls prey to foe; the hyena
eats as a volt of vultures pry for yields –
This is Africa, the wake waits for man.


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