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Chris writes:

This poem is a metaphor for my relationship with South Africa. Whilst I was born in the UK, I spent my childhood and adolescence in South Africa. Anyone who has ever lived in Africa will tell you that it gets into your blood. Hope you like it!!


By Christopher Ingham

We are together, the floor cushion strewn,

Listening to the South East rain,

Sliding, caressing, windowpanes.

Red wine glasses, poetry scattered

'Cross the room, etched on our minds.

Emmy Lou low on the stereo

Singing of red dirt hopelessness.

You stand naked at the window

Watching the rain sweeping across

The emptiness of the common.

I watch you, envying your youth,

The litheness of your body, brown

Against the pale afternoon light.

Turning, you smile, lighting the room.

The curve of your breast, window framed

Now forms the focus of my desire,

Reaches to me from your canvas,

Rubenesque, the nymph, love sated.

Only you and I have been constrained

By mutual fear and circumstance.

You pull on jeans and a jumper,

Open the door, letting the smell

Of spring and Africa draw me

Outside. We walk, slightly apart,

Silently across the soaked common,

The soil of Africa tugging

At our shoes. The mountain, looming,

Beneath hovering clouds, forming

The parameters of our world.

You take my hand, pale against your

Brownness and draw me close to you.

I feel your breasts against my chest

Your warmth stirs and thickens my blood,

And life begins to rise again

In my soul. You lead me homeward

To your room, your spirit calling,

Forgiving me my past sins

Of impotent fear and mistrust.

You draw me into you. My soul

At peace and I live again in you.

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