Into Africa

11 elephants and plains_edited-1Skywards in September

Australia to Arabia and Zanzibar

Wandering like Joseph

Under African skies[i]

Animals from Antelopes to Zebras

Roam their own vast spaces

As nature intended

And not in a zoo

How can a giraffe

So very tall

Disappear from view

A mother lion and cubs

Ignore the circling safari

A lick, a snarl, a swaggering few

The leopard with in-filled spots

Ignores the enclosing traffic jam

Yet jumps skittishly at a twig

Thousands of Wildebeest

Migrate like ants down the hill

To cross the river en masse

A Samburu in pastels and beads

Shares the knowledge of years

With his curious visitors

Maasai in red, hiss and

Leap before the fire

Bring the watchers to the dance

Narrow Stonetown lanes

Ancients houses, carved wooden doors

Intrigue yet exclude the visitor

New days, new language and experiences

Jambo, Sopa

Asanti sana, Karibu

Lala salama[ii]

These songs of Africa stay with us

Though our passing presence

Goes unnoticed into Africa


[i] Reference to Paul Simon’s Graceland album and the song,

[ii] Jambo (hello in Kiswahili), Sopa (hello in Maa), Asanti sana (thank you very much) always followed by Karibu (you’re welcome). Security guards wish you lala salama (sleep well)…a greeting that can’t be returned, for safety’s sake.

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