Sunday, July 24, 2011

Out of Africa


Photograph courtesy of Tess Kinkaid, Magpie Tales 

I have seen the masks
Adorn the walls
Of many a room

They show the world
Of treasures brought 
On travels afar

Look closely at the carving
Not what it may seem
Made in China

I have seen the masks
The genuine ones
Crafted in Africa

I chose not to bring
Any home with me
No happy memories

I left the masks
That adorned my walls
In Africa

Barbara M Lake ©
July 2011
Trinidad, West Indies


  1. Oh, Bee, that is a pointed and excellent poem here. so true too. Well done.

    Even if it had been made in Africa I woudl no doubt have left it there as personally, I am not at all in to scary native art, warding off evil spirits or what have you.

    BTW, I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your masthead photo. Wow. What a view!!

  2. Thank you Mr T - thank you very much. I was only recently thinking that we don't see anything of you of late. So nice to see you here.

    I did live in Africa and I did not bring any masks home. They never appealed to me. Neither did the souvenir spears.

    I took the photo from my daughter in law's parent's verandah one Christmas Day. That's a BWIA (now defuunct airline) flight coming in from London. The airline is now called Caribbean Airlines as opposed to British West Indies Airlines aka "But Will I Arrive".

    Don't be a stranger

  3. I like the bit about some being made in China, B. Well done.

  4. Good one about the "made in China" line. I don't go for decorating walls with ceremonial masks myself. I feel like it's desecrating objects that we don't really understand. Nice poem.

  5. Thank you Tess _ I don't know where that line came from - out of nowhere!

    Lola thank you too. I think people who have lived in or visited Africa see them as souvenirs as they do the spears which some tribes used on rituals or merely for holiday makers. They are crafted in wood, leather and other types of skin. Personally I don't like them but when I lived in Africa I saw enough of them to last me a life time! As I said, I left mine behind!


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