African Dawn

Come and see the African dawn at my house - pink band,

tinted mauve,

by night's last hold,

encircles the muffled horizon. Motionless trees -

umbrella shaped. Strange forms - silent on the

open veld pattern the path where African dawn

gently steps to earth.

Creatures - four pawed,

stretch painted bodies slowly toward the watering place,

down below the trees. Hippos bellow from river's

watery banks: Come - come all

while waters are still

and fresh for drink - last sun come fast,

and we hippos muddy

the waters

to escape sun's blistering heat.

Morning ritual ripples in the bush -

big ones, little ones -

edge their way - selecting friends, spotting foes,

tending young, coupling together for warning

if there be need

at the watering hole - these creatures of quiet

unveil the world - washing, refreshing glossy coats

of many patterns designed to trick your eye

and false intent. Prowling, stalking, playing,

training, sleeping, evading - yet, the water hole is

morning to them all, welcomed by the pink prelude

of the day!

Strange:

On painted walls

dawn never fades - but changes hue with

sun's course through the walled glass doors. Carved lions, elephants,

leopards, rhinos, giraffe,

and zebra - and gazelle -

hippos, waterhogs, and

stolid-horned buffalo roam their ways about

the house - aloof in hiding places -

family groups placed together, by loving fingers - that understand.

Fingers of all ages -

with stories to tell of African dawn playing pink lights

on wild wonders

in my home.

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