Africa’s Big Five

By Wayne Visser

I. LION
 
Expectant black to watchful grey
Then bleeding streaks of red
 
A regal roar to break the day –
The pride has killed and fed
A shaggy mane in silhouette
Content to strut and purr
 
Across the plains of Africa
The wild and wary stir
 
II. LEOPARD
 
Pink-purple bruises blotch the sky
Then heal to soothing blue
 
A veil of leaves, a hunter’s eye
Surveys the grassland dew
A dappled form with velvet spots
Outstretched along the branch
 
Amidst the trees of Africa
The sheltered take their chance
 
III. RHINOCEROS
 
Fierce-fiery eye of golden white
Looks down with withering gaze
 
Half-blinded beasts escape the light
Their shapes a shimmering haze
A horn-cursed head dips low to charge –
Vain bid to stay alive
 
Great sanctuaries of Africa
Fight battles to survive
 
IV. BUFFALO
 
Puce-pregnant clouds to thunder storm
Then swathes of orange blush
 
A jostling mass of muscled form –
The knot becomes a crush
A head-flick scoop on spear-sharp horns
Inflicts a fatal blow
 
Migrating herds of Africa
Maintain the ebb and flow
 
V. ELEPHANT
 
Dry-dusty sand to muddy pool
Then slurp and splash and spray
 
A trumpet squeal of blissful cool –
The herd’s come out to play
A flap of ears, a trunk raised high –
It’s time to take roll-call
 
Wild watering holes of Africa
Quench creatures great and small
 

Wayne Visser © 2014

 

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Page I Am an African (book)

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