Daily Prompt: Night time safari

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At first, the darkness of Africa is dense and dreadful

But for the stars above; pinpricks in the velvet night

There is no moon and the echoing  bark of a nyala

Gives warning; there is movement in the bush.

Senses alert, my spine tingles in anticipation

The screech of a nagapie carries on the breeze

Like the doleful cry of an injured child

And I am mindful to resist the temptation

To run wildly into the inky black,  to its rescue.

We sit and we wait; the cicadas, chirp

A constant whistling buzz; mosquitoes whine

A smell of damp earth, and fear.

And then we hear it, a rustle of leaves

A rumble in the darkness that vibrates within.

There it is again from the other side.

And slowly, shapes come lumbering out

From the bush to the waterhole – and I can see

Grey shapes conjured in a grey landscape

Lumbering large but oh so quietly

Dipping trunks into the liquid ink of the pool.

A snort, and the dripping back of water

And a noise like an emptying sink as

They gurgle the water deep into their throats

And the tiny elephants keeping safe

Under their mothers’ legs obeying the signals

Be discreet; be wary; keep close

And in a moment they shrink into the darkness

And are gone. Magic of the night in Africa.

 

It is sometime since I have been on a night safari but the sounds and eeriness stay with me. Waiting beside a waterhole, anything can turn up. I remember feeling very vulnerable parked in a broken old open-topped Land Rover with a  guide with an old rifle  our own protection! Of course it is very dark when the moon is out and that is so much in contrast to Europe and yet once your eyes get used to it, you can see shapes and when the moon shines it can be quite clear. The guides have a searchlight but that does disturb the night life – better to wait and listen and watch.

The picture is a screen capture from a site I often visit, Africam.

Words copyright Englepip©

via Daily Prompt: Conjure

Daily Prompt: Help the elephants

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Would you put me in a zoo

Because you think it’s safer

Or for your entertainment

‘Cos I’m cute?

Would you hem me in with fences?

Take horizons from my eyes

And the freedom that

Your species seems to prize?

No let me take my chances

Feel the wind upon my hide

Give me the dignity

To roam in landscapes vast.

But if you want to help me

Keep your poachers in control

Put them behind the bars

You would put me.

 

I recently had the pleasure of visiting a game park and seeing the wonderful wildlife in Africa in its natural habitat. The vastness of the landscape in Africa is awesome. To take wild animals for zoos or pets, is terrible and when you have seen the hugeness of the landscapes they are supposed to inhabit it seems immensely cruel. Some argue that zoos are there to protect wildlife but it is the habitat loss and poaching we should be tackling to a much greater degree in my opinion. You may be interested to read what is happening in East Africa.

 

Poem and photo copyright Englepip©

 

via Daily Prompt: Zoo