Wednesday, 22 February 2012

African Idea by Wayne Visser

Just back from Lagos - my fifth trip to Nigeria in the past 12 months. Got me thinking about how Africa is as much a product of perception and imagination as fact and reality.

By Wayne Visser

Africa wakes –
It boils and bubbles
It stews and steams
Swathed and swaddled
In wisps of melting mists
And the feathered blue skies
Of my inner eyes

This Africa –
Drenched in sun and sorrow
Stretched in time and place
Bridging north and south
Cleaving tribe from tribe
Birthing a prodigal progeny –
Alive in my mind

Africa moves –
It spawns and spews
It morphs and multiplies
Enhanced and entangled
In human chains of need greed
And white lightning webs
Of synapses firing

This Africa –
Shadowed in war and want
Bursting with light and longing
Dancing dust clouds around fires
Beating drum songs of desires
Endlessly en-route –
On my famished road

Africa sleeps –
It drifts and disperses
It seeds and suckles
Soothed and silent
In fields of ripening toil
And the wandering blotch-herds
Of scattered thoughts

This Africa –
Whispered in myths and mysteries
Cradling its loves and losses
Chanting with hope and defiance
Hawking praise and prophecy
Woven in patchwork tales –
Echoed in my prose

But is Africa real?
This Africa of mind and magic
This Africa of dreams and dust
This luminous continent
Glowing in the dark interior
Of my gold-threaded caves –
This Africa of my psyche

Is Africa fact?
This Africa of books and bards
This Africa of fables and fiction
This luscious land mass
Teeming with the wild life
Of my untamed frontiers –
This Africa of my stories

Is Africa true?
This Africa of tongue and touch
This Africa of nose and noise
This muddled melting pot
Spicing the pallid palette
Of my doldrum days –
This Africa of my senses

Yes! Africa lives –
Africa breathes and beats and blooms
Africa strives and thrives and jives
Africa shakes and aches and breaks
Africa weeps and rises and leaps
Africa sings and soars on the wings
Of my imagination

This is Africa
This is my Africa
This is my Africa imagined
This is my imaginary Africa
This is my image of Africa
This is my idea of Africa
This is my African idea

Copyright 2012 Wayne Visser

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Letters to Myself... "Politically Concious"

My black nails,
Sing of wails that fail,
Because of an attachment,
So unattractive,
That fills me with pain,
In my blood vessels that pump with strain,
That burgundy liquid through scarlet flesh,
Through to my limp heart,
That fills with that pain,
From black nails,
That sing wails that fail.

Innocent fetus I have been,
But saved I have been,
For some it is not the same,
For some,
It is innocent fetus that has not been,
Aborted clear of the world,
I have breathed life,
An air of filth,
But I have breathed life,
I have been blessed to see love of a mother so destroyed,
But I have seen love,
With their slings they sting,
My spine whose strength I walk,
Through hills and valleys,
On land,
In the sea,
In space,
In my dreams,
My spine that enables me to bring,
The pennies of my sweaty brow,
The pennies of my swollen feet,
The pennies of my broken heart.

For longer than you and I know,
They have held the arrow and bow,
From their black nails like mine, they crow,
Like white masters that left so long ago,
We grieve over unfruitful seeds we sew,
That have been stolen right in front of our door,
And the thief has hands that are sore,
Possessed by greed and absent of compassion,
They threw it away and it landed on the floor,
Right in front of our door.

Do you love me now?
I am neither rich nor poor,
I am nothing in need of a cure,
Do you love me now?

Kavosa Assava