Africa Cont.

Arrival at Mombasa


At Mombasa after rain the potholes pool red

blood spotting the runway,

shining like clots in the sideways zinc-glint of sun,

slicing through clouds the colour of bruises.


You’ve been here before. I know.

But not by air,

by open car, too-fast spraying rusted earth along dust roads

coming from Nairobi.

Too fast to smell the resin-high frangipane blossom

or pick mangoes,

growing wild as blackberries in a hedgerow.

Too fast to the cobalt sea.


Your knuckles are white-boned gripping my hand

thin skin soft stretched

as the wheels skid on rain,

but we slow to standing

and the scent of Kenya begins to seep in through the cracks:

a sweet tang of hot damp air,

of earth-mud and diesel.


Filed under poems, poetry, writing

5 responses to “Africa Cont.

  1. Beautiful language – phrasing sight and scent, nature and motion into imagery with rich metaphor. This is a wonderfully valid piece of poetry. Well done.

  2. If I could write eloquently, I would write what Mike has written in his comment. This is amazing.

  3. ps are you off on travels just now?

    • Thank you Niki. I’ve had such a dearth of inspiration lately but something seems to be stirring in the undergrowth again. And no, not on travels….very far from it! Smallest had the vomiting bug all week so have been administering motherly affection (and doing a lot of laundry)!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s