Dugout down the Zambezi
Wobbling with man-powered paddles
Under an equatorial sun
Doing its balancing act between horizons
Our melted margarine sandwiches unwrapped
As the Fish Eagle swoops down for lunch
Dodging hippos at the confluence
Beyond the Lozi capital
Heading for the plunge down crescents
Of Victoria’s smoke that thunders.


     The canal dug out of the Llangollen hill
     Carries the narrow-boat along
     Chugging through the autumn noonday
     Gliding downstream on created current
     Dodging royalty’s swans pecking at crusts
     Of left-over ham sandwiches
     Swept away in the chevron of waves
     As the travellers move forward peacefully
     Leaving Horse Shoe Falls for Telford’s aqueduct
     Safely above the Dee.

October 2010
While on the Llangollen Canal, memories of a 1978 trip down the Zambezi in a canoe from Chitokoloki to Mongu. 

Photograph of Canoe on the Zambezi at Chitokoloki, by kind permission: Brass Tacks UK