The Sleep of My Lions – Douglas Livingstone

O, Mare Atlanticum,
Mare Arabicum et Indicum,
Oceanus Orientalis,
Oceanus Aethiopicus
           save me
                  from civilization
           my pastory
                  from further violation.

Leave me my magics
and tribes;
to the quagga, the dodo
the sleep of my lions

Rust me barbed fences.
Patrol what remains.
Accept bricks, hunting rifles
and realists, telephones
and diesels
to your anticeptic main.

Grant me a day of
moon-rites and rain-dances;
when rhinoceros
root in trained hibiscus borders;
when hippo flatten, with a smile;
deck-chairs at the beach resorts.

Accord me a time
of stick-insect gods, and impala
no longer crushed  by concrete;
when love poems like this
can again be written in beads.

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3 comments

    • sapoets

      Hi Natalia, thank you for your comment! They’re beautiful aren’t they? I’ve only fairly recently discovered the goldmine of South African/Southern African poerty, and now I can’t stop digging. This blog is an excuse for me to search and discover and share them with the virtual world. I have read a bit about you on your website (which is lovely btw) but I couldn’t find any of your poems, so YES, I would love you to post some of them! I look forward to reading them. Simone

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