lying in my bed
listening for the sunrise
my feet stretch north
warming my toes on the equator.
right ear to the morning,
left to the setting sun,
my hair drifts southwards –
tidal swirlings on an infinite sea.

arms spreading east and west
form the coastal belt
outeniqua tstitsikama langeberg kouga
mountainous names that follow curves
peak in breasts with armpit valleys
and soft catchments where
elbows have folded in on themselves
for years.

these are long arms
that cling white knuckled
to the edge of africa,
strong arms that embrace.

this is warm earth, fertile plains
and the bones that sing my history.
from hand to hand an arc of sky
and the path of sun and moon
flooding me with light.

written june 2015

revised september 2022

For Brendan at Earthweal’s weekly challenge: A MAP OF HISTORY’S MYSTERIES.

Read the essay here https://earthweal.com/2022/09/19/earthweal-weekly-challenge-historys-mysteries/


4 thoughts on “orientation

  1. Like a compass needle finding its true South, the body and mind awaken into confines of an interior which mirror the land. The naming of both so important … and earthweal is so fortunate to have strong earth voices from the global south. How could we hear the world otherwise?

    Liked by 1 person

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