Monday 2 September 2013

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls

Imagine being Livingstone:

weeks in thick rainforest,

clammy claustrophobia,

invisible vipers underfoot.

Land falls away,

an open gash boils

gushing torrents.

Thunderous white water

drowns out word and thought.


Mind-numbing mystery.

New wonder in your Universe.

Where Livingstone stood is now

remnant rainforest on a tourist track.

Drought thinned waters


white-water rafting.

Shouts drowning in foam,

smiles for the video

shown in the bar at 9pm.

Helicopters swoop

with clever commentary.

White water thunders.


As special effects in a blockbuster movie.

A tick on the tourist trail.

(previously published in my first pamphlet Bougainvillea Dancing)

I visited Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe in 1991 and 1992 while I lived in Malawi. It's a stunning place, even during the drought conditions of both the years I visited. Even then though, I felt it was overcommercialised. 

(Please excuse the odd light effects at the top of the photos, I took photos of my original photos (taken in 1991) and couldn't get rid of the reflections from the shiny surface.)


Just a reminder that the closing date for the Nature Conservancy photo competition is 9 September! 

And just to let you know that I've added 'Malindi Beach' a poetry collage inspired by my time living in Malawi to the Crafty Green Etsy shop

As ever, red text in this post contains hyperlinks that take you to other webpages where you can find out more.


Anonymous said...

really enjoyed the poem - what a contrast from then to today - and how awful is the theme park idea!

eileeninmd said...

Wow, what a lovely poem. And the photos are beautiful. Hubby and I would love to see the Victoria Falls. Great post, have a happy day!

Ms Sparrow said...

It will wind up like Yellowstone Natl Park in the US, so overcrowded they have to limit the number of people because of traffic jams! What a pity that everything beautiful and wild is sacrificed for money.

RG said...

Our local newspaper has a weekly full-page easy-to-read feature about something of interest. A few weeks ago it was Livingston including maps of his travels ... wow - what adventures! Great poem.

Little Miss Titch said...

Love the poem!xx Rachel

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Juliet,

Must have been amazing visiting the Victoria falls.
Enjoyed reading the poem


Bill said...

no wonders
without wonder
theme park

Titus said...

Intersting, and loved the poem. Just spent the whole weekend at the Environmental Art Festival, and so thoughts about what we do to nature are much in my mind; I'm a cleft stick on so much of this. Mankind, and then civilisation, has continuously altered landscape and ecosystems (never for the better of any species but our own, I suspect) since homo sapiens reached a critical mass, and part of me feels it's difficult to criticise nations that want to emerge into full 'first world glory' when we make such a pig's ear of what we have ourselves. Toughie for me.

bunnits said...

Great poem. Lovely photos of a great wonder of nature.

Theme park!!????!!! Oh, dear.

Carol Steel said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful poem. Sad to think of such blatant misuse of natural beauty. Humans are disappointing sometimes.