Patricia Schonstein Pinnock is a novelist, poet and author of children’s books, living in Cape Town.
The following poem comes from a beautiful anthology of 190 poems by different authors, put together by Patricia about “Love. Song. Loss. Exile. Journeys. War’s folly. Figures in urban and rural landscapes. Wilderness. Simple pictures of life. Shades of the human condition. Pathos. Poignancy. The joy in small things. Light. The colours of Africa.” I was given this beautiful book for my birthday! Here is one of my favourite poems, written by Patricia herself…
Africa! My Africa!
Herds of wildebeest and dust of galloping
Cracked patina of drought
Pungent scent of roots and shrubs
Wind from deserts. Windmills
Wind in grasses – swaying, yellowed, golden
Dunes that move against the face of time
Lovers at the water’s edge
Aloes. Nectar. Juices sucked and pondered
Lizards baked and idle. Salt pans
Nocturnal blue and great cats lapping at a pool
Savanna dawn and freshness of the morning
Spidered-leaves and tangled scrub
Small trackings in the sand. Fontein
Storm and clouds that streak across the sky. Thunder
Smell of rain. Surge of waves. Perlemoen
Shipwrecks. Porcelain and beads of castaways
Kelp by moonlight. Pebbles, shone and smooth
Shells and sparkled chips of glass upon a beach
Earth made warm. Mica. Miombo. Milkwood.
Patterned sunlight. Jewels of dew
Plaintive call of boubou. Jackal. Copper-green
Whispering of darkness lacing stars
Winter’s breath. Ironwood. Ochre. Umber. Hawk
Wild Olive. Koppies. Dongas. Drifts. Duiweltjies. Old graves
Great rocks of granite powdered with red in the afternoon
Sighs and hoots and baying. Bateleur
Breath of predator at rest. Cicada shrills and frog-song
Drums and midnight dance. Drumming till the end of time
Drumming, drumming Africa!
More about the Patricia Schonstein’s anthology of poems, “Africa! My Africa!”