The echo of drums
reverberates through the lush Shongweni Valley.
Igwalagwala, the brilliant-coloured coward-bird,
lends his voice to the beat.
Boom, kak-kak-kak, boom, boom.

As the sun goes down
the nosey ibis screams his name,
“Ha-ha-ha-de-dah! Ha-de-dah!”
Cooking fires add a haze to the evening air.
And as the day draws to a close,
the homesteads dotted around the valley
absorb the people
and it is quiet.

But only just.
Under the Giraffe Acacia
the lion stirs.
Standing, he stretches and shakes his heavy mane.
He begins a rhythmic grunt
“He inchi ya nani – yangu, yangu, yangu!*”
Tonight is the night;
he can feel it.
Tonight he will win the pride.


*  “Whose land is this? It’s mine, mine, mine!”

NaPoWriMo — Day Sixteen:  Today, fill out an “Almanac Questionnaire,” which solicits concrete details about a specific place (real or imagined). Then write a poem incorporating or based on one or more of your answers.