My camera’s memory cards
radiate with vivid imprints.
No edits can erase them.
They are hot to my touch, rays
still transmitting images.
As a sinking sun dips to
lick our world’s watery edges,
it is the slide that is addictive.
A greedy sky canvas caresses
each luminous taste of gold.
Mark Rothko has arrived here.
He takes up his easels and brushes,
mixes up colors like a stew,
sweet and salty, dark and light.
Orange emits Yellow, Red.
“Liquid Sunshine” means something
new in Chobe’s waters
on the Lower Zambizi river.
A bright ball of light oozes out,
leaks over everything,
spreads into the wake
of our fragile boats.
Our glassy waves heat,
then cool down as it widens,
as land and sea go blind in light.
Sunsets do not condone
complacency. Night arrives
only after a fiery ending.
Rothko’s canvas is luminous.
We embrace its heat, as we
prepare for colder, cloudier times.
As the sun marks our ever-turning world
with its fingerprints, it never casts
the same glow twice. Even now,
as our boat cuts through light scattered
on water like fluorescent snowflakes,
shorebirds rustle in reddening
weeds. Its burnished strands of yellow
filter through, then fade to mauve,
then pale blue grey haze. Heat lingers on
like a “sundowner’s” heady buzz.
One wonders how such fire
has not liquefied gold and platinum,
vaporized diamonds and lead
lying in wait below earth’s surface.
We would have to evacuate.
That raging flow of magma
would run thicker than the bloodshed
spilled out over centuries
of efforts to claim such riches,
washing everything away in its path.
Instead, we sit hushed as white
cloud edges singe and darken.
Burning light erupts
like VanGogh’s Starry Night.
Passions rage, then quiet.
The glory here is pure.
Even a simple fisherman
can savor it. Supernatural fanfare
sets the world alight. Every
shadowed soul can partake.
*Sundowner, a term first popularized by British Colonials, refers to
an alcoholic drink typically enjoyed around sundown, after the work day has ended.