Africa Poems

This is my 23rd book and 11th poetry collection, an anthology of the ‘African’ themed poems that have appeared in all my previous collections.  In addition to poetry there is one short story, a number of African quotes and a small number of black and white photographs / artwork to illustrate the book and add atmosphere and some context.

Blurb:
For almost fifty years Welsh writer Dave Lewis has been fascinated with Africa; the land, the people and its wildlife.

Throughout his writing there have always been references to the great continent and so here together in one volume is a small ‘selected works’ of his poetry with an African influence, taken from his first eight collections.

In addition there is one short story and a handful of original black & white artworks created from his many photographs.  African proverbs complete the package.

Praise for Lewis’s work:

“Wide-ranging poetry that covers love, landscape and nature.  Tender moments, rich, colourful insights and snapshots of a particular time and place jostle with the political and social.  A spiritual take on the charisma of Africa by a passionate Welshman whose love for the continent is without question.” – Andrew Davies


Published as a paperback and e-book in Feb 2022 by Publish & Print.


Sample poems:

 

Cabinda

Look! The Bakongo are here – beautiful and strong

honey-sweet fat caterpillar-lipped

tasting of frangipani in dew,

 

statuesque curves adorned in psychedelic charms…

Open that casket, give the men nzimbu shells

and tell them to wash off that sugar sweat of jungle.

 

Then check the chains are tight,

they’ll shrink down to the bones

by the time we reach port at Charleston.

 

I can see that one now, put in virginal white,

that cassava belly starved away,

in a silk gown and a flower in her hair.

 

And the other one, there, yes the one with all her teeth.

She’ll be worth a thousand dollars one day,

depending on those hips of course.

 

Now don’t forget the trinkets for our good friends,

measure out the copper, the cloth and the beads

and double-check the figures in the ledger.

 

from the collection ‘Scratching The Surface


Etosha to Okavango

The red sun is dark over ‘the great white place’,

as rhino and tembo play truth or dare.

Across the yellow water while plovers referee

the sighs and camera clicks mean that someone’s there.

 

Soundtrack surreal, we sit on a wooden bench,

inhale the dust, feed the head.

Hear hyenas laugh deep into the night

at your amorous liaison, ‘neath that sun so red.

 

Near the mopane plains that stretch for countries

we cross the border, heading towards Ghanzi.

Throw away tomatoes, pass a million purple trees

in a flat land, brushed bush, rolling carefree.

 

Until a new world wakes in a new wet dawn,

the water an oasis, you can literally breathe it in.

Camping on an island hear the lion roar

distant as dreams that we’re already within.

 

from the collection ‘Mixed Messages


Glazed Olives

your granddaddy whipped black men

with rubber hoses across their feet

extracting state secrets

to keep his baby safe

upon the rainbow street

 

now your apple-green eyes

interrogate me in this new town

where we replace petrol-soaked throats

with meanwhiles and maybes

and your soft eiderdown

 

from the collection ‘Layer Cake


Reviews:

“Author, poet, publisher, photographer and founder of the annual International Welsh Poetry Competition, amongst other equally successful ventures, Dave Lewis has compiled a truly memorable poetry collection which, based upon his experiences in Africa – a vast, fascinating continent – is weighted with wisdom, and truly speaks to the soul.  A rare achievement indeed, from the Ethiopian proverb, ‘When the shepherd comes home to peace, the milk is sweet,’ to a Kenyan proverb, ‘A man’s actions are more important than his ancestry.’  Dramatic art work from the National Museum of Namibia in Windhoek, also enhances this magnetic compilation, enriched throughout by the author’s own photography.  A love story, no less, set in a county where my late father spent many years as a Unilever businessman, and our present home contains many of the beautiful sculptures and carvings he brought back with him.  ‘Africa Poems’ is a moving, gripping masterpiece which should, if there is any justice, take Dave Lewis to the very top of the poetry tree. Bravo!” – Sally Spedding


Amazon Best Seller

During the first week of the book’s launch:

#1 in Black & White Photography charts


#2 in African Poetry charts