BOTSWANA Chobe National Park by Sophia Ewing
AFRICA IN THE BLOOD, Olduvai Gorge
by Andrew Oerke
Africa gets in the blood.
Snoopy's down; dust hath closed Helen's eye;
and poor Mr. Magoo went shoo-shoo skidoo.
He bled as bright as rubies in a Rolex.
His blood enriched a rusty clay called laterite
for all the oxides n red blood cells in it.
In the rearview mirror, archaeologists
dig up ancestral dirt with whisk n spade
where we center-staged before words excused us
and Fair & Foul were too confused to accuse us.
How sweet it was to be innocently afraid.
A village fire smokes bugs from a thorn tree.
Moths go up in flames but stick to mud-slaked walls.
In our telescopic, time-binding bombsights,
hair of Here, whiskers of Then, put an x on
Nowaday's pupil that wants to know if it can see
through wormholes clear to simultaneity.
Stars are sensed so remotely, mostly radio
waves reach us. They voodoo our dreams.
Their Juju juices our batteries n we slap
the talking drums and tardrop-spotted boom-tubes
that rattle an ur-deep dynamic of rhythm,
a supreme diction our cradle rocked to
on leopard-prone shelves in Rift Valley crawls.
Shadows of origin still haunt these vague & savage halls.