Africa’s Big Five

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. Giraffe

Pink-purple bruises blotch the sky
Then heal to soothing blue

Green feathered leaves, a long lashed eye
Amidst the thorny dew
An outstretched neck with velvet spots
Intent to reach and browse

Acacia trees of Africa
Extend their welcome boughs

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 © 2017


I Am An African: Favourite Africa Poems

This creative collection, now in its 5th edition, brings together Africa poems by Wayne Visser, including the ever popular “I Am An African”, as well as old favourites like “Women of Africa”, “I Know A Place in Africa”, “Prayer for Africa” and “African Dream”. The anthology celebrates the luminous continent and its rainbow people. The updated 5th Edition includes new poems like “Africa Untamed” and “Land of the Sun”. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.