Lake Victoria, obviously

Lies silver, out of reach

Debates about white guys in the water

There might be crocs, or bugs

Soaring eagles patrol along the beach.


The green amazes all the dryland people

Palms, sculpted banana fans, cactus, verdant

Trees with sinuous roots, crawling like snakes

Across the lawns, entwining one another

Still, humid, and much ado about the mozzies

Close the window, shut out breeze and birdsong,

Let's stew within, hot, unbitten.


Three walls, fences shield access to the beach

Two lovers frolic in the water

While all around workers fuss and factotate

Prepare the bar and snack house

Where no one drinks or eats, the staff vague

on the possibilities for satisfaction

The tea room is empty, huge, soulless

The service surly, perfunctory, plodding

More attentive to the billing than the board.

The African clientele are impolite to their serving cousins

Haughty, scornful, sharp in ways we never could consider

I cringe to be thought, caught, in the answering resentment.

A preacher plows his powerpoints at lunch

On Nineveh, and the sons of Ammon: Who!?! 

Occasionally checks against his Word.

Believers in a secular faith troop 

About some ernest acronymic confab, 

Ebb and flow about the grounds

Brilliant as flora in their flowing robes

Regalia of age, matching headgear

Clothes declaring home, station, status.

In this language of attire, African

In fact, meaning, sense

I am illiterate, insensible: 

Katrine tells me the German is, insensitive.

She says, Reverse the English.

Uganda did.

 © Philip Knight 2018