Around the world in 50 weeks heads back to SW Africa today, and the nation of Namibia, where I met some San bushmen and had the privilege of working for a few months in 1990 among the Damara People. The Damara speak a click language, which is super hard to emulate, but rhythmic and beautiful to listen to. These memories are distant and consequently a little dusty, so this poem doesn’t quite feel like it made it into the 21st century!
Memories of the Kalahari
A beach, abandoned by millennia,
orphaned by the lake of its birth.
One, two, three grains stretch to infinity
and back; grinding, caking in nostrils.
Thirsty pans dream of the deluge,
carving gutters that spew pools –
clustering, evaporating, crusting,
salty glint against the ochre floor.
Thorny crescents shade
mongoose and springbok, that
vie with Kgalagadi bushmen
for tsamma melon and berries .
An open air gallery flaunts her talent.
Glyphs, shaman, hunts, women –
a history book of rock pages,
defying epochs of elemental time.
I too am thirsty and dry.
Seeking my own dream.
Trying to reunite my soul
with its source, its essence.
Waiting for rain in the desert.
Copyright 2012 Joanna Marple