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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.