Tuesday, June 3, 2014

MOON OVER GOMBE

photo by Bill Wallauer - janegoodall.org


There is a rustling in the forest tonight,
creatures moving stealthily.
 One can hear the sleepy call
of families of chimpanzees,
as last stragglers 
join the huddled mound
of elbows, heads and knees.

Night pulls
its curtain of darkness
across the wooded slopes.
Creatures lying down with danger
pray to rise at dawn with hope.

The lion padding softly
parts the grasses,
side to side.
Regal, he is the only one
who doesnt have to hide.

In the distance,
at the edge of dusk,
elephants  circle, tail to tusk.
The grandmothers will not sleep tonight,
because the babies must.

Wildebeeste passing earlier
saw the lion, and took flight;
all creatures  seeking safety
in which to pass the night.

A big old watchful tangerine  moon
slowly rises over Gombe,
every creature struck with wonder,
outlined in its amber rays.
And my heart yearns across the sea,
my only wish that I
were there, too, under the starry, 
breathing, benevolent African sky.


posted for Alan's prompt at Poetry Jam: the moon

50 comments:

  1. ah i wish i was there as well...so much life...so many animals that are exotic and foreign...would love to see the elephants in real life....

    i am still planning on going to africa in november...perhaps....

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  2. You have really set the scene here, Sherry. I can feel the atmosphere, see the wildebeest and the lion, and savor that tangerine moon!

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  3. Ah! such a beautiful night to remember, spreading peace and serenity.

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  4. Beautiful words that picture a beautiful night. I can feel your love in this.

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  5. will our kids or theirs ever see this? will we have to do what Native tribes do, tell oral stories of what was 'once' before the burnings and cuttings, before the smog and climate warming, before the extinction of the species that remnided us of how it is to truly be free?

    wonderful expression, mi amiga

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  6. Your poem is one for the ages ~~ and for all ages!

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  7. Makes me want to go to Africa. Enjoyed this !

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  8. You did a good job here of conveying the mood of nighttime and then the wonder of the tangerine moon! Thanks for visiting my blog so faithfully too!

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  9. I love that orange moon, Sherry! You have written a very atmospheric and beautiful poem.

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  10. Sherry,

    This poem is rather like a travel invite, to participate and share in the beauty to be found in this area of the world. I know you would feel an urge to rehome many new animals, if you did travel there!!!
    A delightfully painted poem.
    Best wishes, Eileen :)

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  11. "Creatures lying down with danger
    pray to rise at dawn" - lots of wonderful lines in this!

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  12. Simply amazing. One can really feel the African atmosphere throughout these lovely lines. I especially enjoyed the second verse. Congratulations for this awesome, breath-taking poem!

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  13. This is just a lovely write, Sherry. Beautiful words and the rhyming scheme you have pinned them against is pure enchantment. One of my sons just got back from a magical photo safari in Chobe National Park in Botswana (at the end of a Houses for Humanity build in Zambia) just last week, coincidentally, where he saw elephants, giraffes, warthogs, spider monkeys, impalas, hippos, crocodiles, lions, cheetahs and all manner of birds and he described the experience as one of the most beautiful in his life. I plan on sharing this wonderful work with him when he drops by this evening. Thank you.

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  14. i love this african safari...lovely to be a part of it ...there's a hush hush quietness creating suspense and thrill and all in the presence of the eternal moon...a beautiful, beautiful poem Sherry

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  15. Sherry, you had me enchanted from the first line! A lush beautiful poem, each line flowing and building on the next -- love it! :-)

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  16. Wonderful poem Sherry suspenseful, intriguing all in one, thanks for sharing.

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  17. Ah, Africa! You depicted this place so beautifully. I can see it, smell it, hear it...

    Nicely done!

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  18. makes me want to visit again... :) ~

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  19. You have painted such a beautiful moon scene, thanks for transporting me on wings of words

    Much love...

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  20. In such a short time you took me to that exotic place..i wish i could go there and watch that moon too..:)

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  21. I would love to be there too, Sherry! What a peaceful and beautiful place this would be to see.

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  22. I think my favorite line is about the grandmothers not sleeping 'because the babies must'. Your poem made me think of the series Daktari I watched when I was a child.

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  23. So many little stories folded into that turn into night. The nocturnal world opens up with its inhabitants and the other huddle where they can.

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  24. Astonishing that you are not there — you bring it all so alive!

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  25. I would love to go on an African safari as well...until then this was a pleasure read and a beautiful picture.

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  26. i would love to go to africa... when we had a group of south africans here at work they were telling me about their country, the nature, wildlife and all the magic...i really should go and visit.. you so beautifully captured the magic

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  27. Night of course is a dangerous time and danger lurks everywhere. No doubt grandmother will have a nap tomorrow as a reward. What a great read this is.

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  28. I specially like:

    A big old watchful tangerine moon
    slowly rises over Gombe,

    I wish I can visit this place someday ~

    Grace

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  29. I love that tangerine moon..it's as if everything underneath it is as it should be...if only we let it

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  30. LOL, Sherry... you took us there... for a minute I thought maybe you had remembered a time of being in the thick of it... no sleep with those Chips though

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  31. If I could, I would parcel up the African sky and send it to you, Sherry. I have been to many beautiful wild places, and have also visited a rehabilitation centre for chimps which would break your heart. The world you have described is under constant attack and I often wonder if the battle has already been lost for many species. (The Northern Black Rhino is down to the last 6, with only one breeding male alive.)

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  32. 'all creatures seeking safety' ~ including humans too. Saw the image of your 'heart yearning across the sea' as the 'A big old watchful tangerine moon' interesting hyperbole here...

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  33. You made me want to wander into that restless, quiet jungle.

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  34. WOW! You bring me there! I would like to be friends with the lion so I need not fear walking. Let's pack up and go visit Kerry and then take a safari and die of beauty and amazement.

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  35. Africa sounds so exotic and adventurous and also a bit dangerous ~ survival of the fittest between prey and predator. I love the line of the grandmothers being protective of the babies. Such nurturing and balance in nature! :)

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  36. You make me wish I was there, too! So beautiful, Sherry :)

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  37. Love the entire poem and the ending "breathing benevolent African sky" they don't get much better than this one. :)

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  38. Where would we be without yearning hearts? Stuck right where we are!

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  39. Tangerine Moon - what a cool image!

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  40. A wonderful adventure under a "tangerine moon"
    ZQ

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  41. I have never been and would love to go--your words bring out all the magic that us there

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  42. This is wonderful Sherry, to share the moment with these beautiful creatures..and the lion the only one who doesn't have to hide. In the distance at the edge of dusk..I am there trying to catch a glimpse.

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  43. The energy you put in your words surely transported us all there. Africa has the kind of beauty that a city life cannot offer to humankind. Certainly, I'd love to visit there too & get more closer to the wild. Smiles. Thank you for the poem, Sherry!

    - ksm

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  44. reading it one more time makes the lines even more beautiful..

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  45. The depth you brought out made the poem very solid and real

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  46. Delightful Sherry. As I read it, I could hear Paul Simon singing in my ear: "Joseph's face is as black as night as he walks a path under African skies."

    Elizabeth

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  47. Mysterious and terrifically beautiful

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  48. To be among animals can be most exhilarating even educational. The African feel is most alluring. Great lines Sherry!

    Hank

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I so appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!