In Africa

love is the dark beating drum

heart of the forest

moon smoothed by a million palms

taut as tensed bellies

waiting for night

and the sword thrusts.


Hate is the sharp shearing knife

slitting the white woman’s womb

skewering her unborn child

on a meat spit

held by a laughing man.


Time is the naked Dinka

one legged on the river bank

spear in hand drowsily watching

slow steamers eddy by.


Youth is the engineer

the teacher

the planner

rudely awakened from the ancient

drum born dream


Power is black

in the arms of new politicians

chess playing in jet planes

noiselessly to London

cool over the heat bent yellowing land.


In Africa,

the fossils are not dead but waiting.

Where languages flow like blood

no codes carry their cryptic information.

Uncongealed in alphabet

The words fly free

Seeking their own and powerful sense.