Daily Prompt: Night time safari

africam-image-nk-1-982381842

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: Twenty pence short

 

_1570281

 

“I insist,” she said. “Take it.”

And I’m looking through my purse

The coins should be there

Were they hidden, or worse?

As pennies are proffered

I say,  “No,” then hesitate

I promised to buy this,

Later may be too late.

I accept her kind offer

For the sake of the friend

Who asked me to purchase

Before the weekend.

I blush to the very roots of my hair

Say, “Thank you”  take the money

And smile at those who stare

At the woman who found herself no change to spare.

But the kindness of  strangers

Is real and true.

Nothing to gain

Except thanks from you.

But that one  act of kindness

Has a ripple effect

For goodwill can flourish

If we it, redirect

If we help out each other

Then we can show

What one did for one

We can do for another.

Pass on the goodwill.

The poem arose from an occasion when I was asked by a friend, who was feeling under the weather, to purchase something at the local store and take it round before the weekend. I thought I would get my daily exercise by walking round there, thinking I had cash in my purse. I had forgotten to take my card and when I got to the till, found I was twenty pence short. A perfect stranger in the line behind gave me the twenty pence. It was an embarrassing moment as I was holding up the queue and because I accepted charity but I shall never forget that generosity which meant I didn’t have to walk all the way home and back again!

Words and photo copyright Englepip©

via Daily Prompt: Insist

I am sharing this lovely post because of my love for giraffes, which if you have read my recent poem, you will appreciate. A DAY WITH GIRAFFES — Lora by Lora

I just came back from Kenya, and as much as I wish I had juicy stories to inspire you to book your next safari holiday to this magical land, unfortunately, this time around, I don’t have much to rave about. Our trip was short and it was more work and less play. But inspiration or […]

shared via A DAY WITH GIRAFFES — Lora by Lora

What sort of creature?

_1530614

What creature is more naked than most and yet manages to survive?

What creature can sing and whistle and make noises that others understand?

What creature blushes with embarrassment showing emotions to all?

What creature walks on two legs upright and tall?

What creature has hands that can make and feel and weave?

What creature uses tools which are complex and is skilful?

What creature has a brain that is highly developed?

Of course it is man, all versions, colours, creeds, all the same species.

 

What creature fights its own kind and kills en masse?

What creature destroys its own habitat for greed?

What creature invents and uses weapons that could destroy the world and every creature in it?

What creature develops a spiritual awareness and then uses it to persecute others?

What creature pollutes pristine environments leading to earth’s destruction?

Of course it is man, all versions, colours, creeds, all the same species.

—————————————

This is my species. I am such a creature and I am capable of doing something,

no matter how small, to make things better. Will you?

 

Words and photo copyright Englepip©

 

via Daily Prompt: Creature

Daily Prompt: White Rose

_1450132

A winter’s day

And already the sun is low on the horizon

A chill creeps through the air

As the light sinks.

The graveyard settles into shadow

And night.

At my feet lie the dead.

Buried beneath the cold clods

Stones at their heads that read

Of poetic loss and grief at their passing.

“Beloved son”, “Loving mother,”

“Sacred to the memory.”

The once living

Now lie inanimate,

Six feet under.

Waiting: for what?

For eternity, for heaven or for hell?

Certainly, their release from this life passed,

Is there death, new life, resurrection?

For this is a Christian place.

As I turn to go,

I retrieve a discarded rose,

White and innocent in the dewy grass

And I place it on the moss-covered  wall

Between the sacred land and the unconsecrated.

Is it for me to sympathise in death or

To celebrate of the life to come?

 

We shall all find out in time.

 

Words and photo copyright to Englepip©

via Daily Prompt: Sympathize

Daily Prompt: The Giraffe

_1540882

Don’t be puzzled at my jigsaw coat.

It’s strange but it works for me.

I’m an ungulate mammal,

Who roams  the plains

From Niger right down to the South.

My neck is the longest

You’re likely to see

I can reach up high and down low.

My legs,  any supermodel would admire,

And I can run fast cross the plains.

 

But there is a problem:

When I want a drink,

I have to shrink

To reach down, there’s only one way

Keep watch: take care

And then spread them away

And trust there’re no predators around.

P1410164

P1400871

My eyes and eyelashes are large and brown

With a softness and warmth that’s endearing:

I am curious too, looking at you,

In fact to humans, I seem quite alluring.

Yet do you all know what you’re losing

As our habitats you are abusing?

We have  six species but some are endangered

Or vulnerable and fragile in numbers.

Though we’re large in size – extremely tall,

It doesn’t mean we will survive.

In Africa fewer than elephants wild

We need  you to realise now.

Save our habitat please ;

Please find out how

Do you really want to lose us?

_1550446

 

 

 

 

Words and photos copyright by Englepip ©

 

Giraffe numbers have fallen nearly 40% since the 1980s and by 95% in some areas.

For more information on giraffes click here

via Daily Prompt: Puzzled

Colours

imageedit_3_8139094334

Grey, damp and depressing and

The sun hovers just above the horizon

So that days are short and nights long.

A chill envelops me and I cough

Cough up my guts and sniffle.

Oh for summer months and

warm, long days with flowers

In the garden – a sensation  of

Colour and scents and glory

At life so profuse. It will come.

And in the meantime, I will dream.

 

Words and photo copyright Englepip©

 

via Daily Prompt: Profuse

Daily Prompt: Out there

P1400200

 

 

The wind whistles around the entrance to the cave

And a dull day brings rain, beating against the rocks

And swishing inwards, pock-marking the sandy entrance.

The swell rises and the spray adds to the dampness

Out there.

 

Out there are monsters of the deep, curling cunning tentacles

Around the unsuspecting prey.

Out there are the sharks, patrolling the shoreline for a tasty meal

Homing in on splashing and signs of distress.

Out there are the jellyfish, floating like ghosts

Just beneath the surface, tentacles ready.

 

But also ….

 

There are sea-lions clapping their flippers

Lying  as though sunbathing, even in a squall,

Resting at ease in the undulations of the waves.

There are sea-singing whales,  splashing in the ocean

Blowing great fountains and spurts high into the air

Where they play.

And there are the dolphins, racing and leaping and

Laughing in the surf which beats the shore.

 

In here it is warmer.

In here is protected from the elements

From life.

In here is washed up detritus

Excrement of seagulls and skeletons of bats.

 

I can see from my cavity in the rock wall

All manner of life: I can observe others living.

Maybe if the sun shines, I should emerge

And risk dipping my foot in the ocean of life

Maybe I should take a short swim

And see what life brings.

 

 

This is a symbolic poem as well as a description of what it is like to be in a dry cave above the swelling ocean. We all have choices in our lives. Some find a safe hide away, ‘a cavity in the rock face of life’  if you will, from which they are frightened to emerge. It seems safe but is impoverished in what it offers as an experience of life. Out there, there is fear no doubt, but there is also laughter, joy and beauty. We cannot, in my opinion, live life to the full without a little risk taking and sampling other things. I believe we should get out there and enjoy and marvel at the good in the world, rather than live in fear and experience nothing.

Words and photos copyright Englepip©

via Daily Prompt: Cavity