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Nov 2018
Our eyes filled with wonder
Our minds twisted in change
Much like hobbits going afar
Then returning to sweet home
Our lives were changed forever

We rode slow and flew so fast
In tin cans from here and to there
Never taking off our shoes
Hardly touching the ground
Hardly touching Africa

Hiding behind camera lens
Wearing our face in masks
As a people not African black
Who worry not the future
Living easily in time’s moment

Like sardines aligned in tight
Wild creatures within confines
Electricity, steel, and wire
Tall fences stopping escape
To other worlds and realms afar

Except the leopards of night
Who easily roam across
All defined or artificial borders
Escaping cramped tin cans
Basking in Africa’s buttery light

Except for our African guide
With Christian name of Dexter
But named actually as
Tichayambuka Nekutenda
Nenyasha Chikerema

More comfortable sleeping in
Deep bush amongst beasts
Without down comforters,
perfumes, socks, or shoes
Living life in happy quiet freedom

A man raised speaking Bantu
in a small Shona tribe
Born in the Zimababwan village
Of Mutekedza in Mashonaland
East in the Chivhu Area.

From his father’s family
Given a totem of Zebra Brown
Then recited in love poem daily
by his proud mother
To affirm him as a man

Although he must also
be like the leopard
Unconfined in simple borders
Or tin can walls all around
Able to traverse the world

We as tourists were and are
Salty, smelly, near rotten sardines
I see him smile
And I laugh, and I know
Ndino ziva anorarama se  mbada

©  2017 Jim Davis
Notes:  The last line in Shona language means “I know he lives as a Leopard”
Jim Davis
Written by
Jim Davis  Great State of Texas
(Great State of Texas)   
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