I Weep for Africa

I weep for Africa –
And my tears water the ground
Where the tree of life first took hold
And its severed roots still spread wide

I weep for Africa –
And my tears salt the wounds
Where the battle for freedom first was fought
And its fallen heroes still lie scattered

I weep for Africa –
And my tears mark the stain
Where the blackness of slavery left its trail
And the rust of chains still bleed red

I weep for the invisible:
For all those who still live in darkness
Because the light of the world’s media is dim
And poverty’s face does not sell

I weep for the forgotten:
For all those who died nameless
Because the eye of the world’s memory is blind
And history only remembers the conquerors

I weep for the ignored:
For all those who cry out in vain
Because the ear of the world’s commerce is deaf
And free trade is freedom for the few

I weep for Africa –
Whose mountains are scarred by greed
And whose deltas are slick with corruption
Because power is like cancer

I weep for Africa –
Whose valleys are lined with graves
And whose rivers flow with blood
Because revenge feeds on itself

I weep for Africa –
Whose villages are skeletons of mud
And whose cities are phantoms of dust
For progress leaves many homeless

I weep for the mothers:
For all those who cradle sickness
Because their compassion does not pay
And life still has a price tag

I weep for the fathers:
For all those who sweat for food
Because the forges of industry are infernal
And labour is still just a commodity

I weep for the children:
For all those who grow up too soon
Because the killer virus reaps a bitter harvest
And childhood is still a luxury

I weep for Africa –
But not tears of pity
For this is a land of countless assets
And a people of abundant resourcefulness

I weep for Africa –
But not tears of despair
For this is a land of vast potential
And a people of inextinguishable hope

I weep for Africa –
But not tears of judgement
For this is a land with its own destiny
And a people whose sun is on the rise

Yet for my forgetting of her ancient ways
And my ignorance of her hidden secrets
For my deafness to her fireside stories
Africa weeps for me too

And for my dwelling in her shadows past
And my cutting loose her community ties
For my arrogance looking from the outside in
Africa weeps for me too

Yes, for turning my back on her wild spirit
And bleaching the arc of her rainbow vision
For my veil of salty tears shed for her
Africa weeps for me too

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.