Thursday 8 April 2021

Zebras in Focus

I think of zebras in Zimbabwe,
see shimmering, stripy signatures
on rotund fairground horses
on Hwange’s endless plain.

You think of the same safari,
remember fiddling with focal lengths,
messing with your light meter
to produce the perfect photograph.

Mounted on black in your album
your memory of zebras in Zimbabwe –
frozen, lifeless images, not perfect
enough for a picture postcard.

I smile and remember the zebras
nuzzling and cuddling each other.
You look bemused and say
you hadn’t even noticed.


(Previously published in Envoi and previously shared on this blog in 2006 and 2018)

Edited to add: The zebra in the photo is a Grevy's zebra seen in Edinburgh Zoo (viewed from the top of Corstorphine Hill).  Grevy's zebras can be recognised by their large ears and narrower stripes. You can read more about the zoo's zebras here. Grevy's zebra is the most threatened of the zebra species and the People's Trust for Endangered Species are fundraising to help restore grassland for Grevy's zebras in central Kenya. You can find out about this work and donate to the appeal here.


Anonymous said...

lovely poem! oh how I would love to visit Africa in my lifetime.. to see a zebra in the wild had to be a thrill.
and thanks for dropping by my blog, I'll visit again soon :)

Crafty Green Poet said...

Hi Cindy
Thanks for visiting! Zebras are indeed wonderful to see in the wild... I really enjoyed your blog too and will visit again....

Anna Piutti said...

This is very nice!

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

They remind me of models and impressions of the Trojan Horse - tall mane, short neck back and legs.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we can miss things if we only watch through a lens.

Anonymous said...

I know that feeling! I still take photos but leave more to pot luck. It's too easy to be mentally absent from the scene you're snapping.