My heart is stretched out over this land,
pegged down with sharp stakes of brittle roots,
parched dry by the oppressive heat
of this rainy season without rain.
Women with the desert in their eyes,
heavy laden, trample the ground, my soul,
their dresses, bright splashes of colour,
their laughter gurgling like springs.
Eagles with cunning in their bills,
claw the shrinking lake, my ebbing blood,
scratching for small fish – usipa, utaka, *
rage against the dying of the lake.
Monkeys, baboons, in hillside starvation,
break garden fences, come looking for food,
join herds of goats to steal the crops,
pull braids and ribbons from my hair.
Up in the mountains, thunder lurks
and deep, dark grumblings underground.
Dry packed earth and blistered skin
wait for rain’s sweet, wet relief.
Previously published in Candelabrum and in my pamphlet Bougainvillea Dancing
See another poem including clothes over on Over Forty Shades, my Alter Ego blog, here.
Clothes for Read Write Poem