Africa Poems 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.
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
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‘
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‘
“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 artwork 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
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