: Where will you find me? : Wo findest du mich : Where will you find me? : Wo findest du mich : People say Mungo Park was the first of the great colonial missionary explorers . He was born on the Yarrow Water in Selkirk, and drowned some four thousand seven hundred odd miles away, in the Niger River. The Royal Africa Company paid four thousand pounds compensation to his widow. : Where will you find me? Pirogues unstitch the border, I, Citizen, repeat the field. : Trouve moi : Where will you find me? : George Santayana once wrote "People never believe in volcanoes until the lava overtakes them." : Code Blue for bone reefs, the lower Sanaga outgassing Code Blue for seagrass flourish. Code Blue : Wo findest du mich? : Daily tides dissolve the deceitfully solid architecture of mudflats and sandbanks where black tern hunt giant dragonflies. Where will you find me? On the water, men in pirogues hunt butterflies. The line of water we follow drains from a region of active and extinct volcanoes. This wide piece of water marks the old border between the German and British Cameroon. We sit in the creak of old cane chairs. In the morning a molten stream has severed our neighbourhood from the other parts of town. : The rivers are a royal road to Africa’s heart. : Where will you find me? in the river, in the road, on the water, tern hunt giant dragonflies, in the tide, men in pirogues race pelicans, familiar bones undermine each sandbank : Wo findest du mich? Code Blue, Citizen mudflats deport rails sandbanks deport giant herons Waves deport marabou storks Code Blue, Citizen repeat, Citizen, repeat rails repeat mudflats repeat sandbanks repeat giant herons repeat waves repeat mangroves repeat marabou storks Citizen, repeat Paradise engines repeat the Rio Del Rey and Saviour Island reconstitute lapwings fatten finfoot reanimate the flyways repeat, Citizen, repeat mangroves and Saviour Island Citizen, repeat the field Citizen, I, manatee I, lapwings I, pelicans Where seabirds hunt, there am I Where you find me, waves no enemy : Where you will find me pirogues unstitch the border Find me. We were never damned, we were only unarmed.
About this poem
A film-poem written and produced by Clementine E. Burnley. The work was commissioned by the Scottish Poetry Library in partnership with Africa in Motion Film Festival and The Obsidian Foundation. The film-poem premiered at the festival in October 2021, under the theme of ‘Imaginarium: an enquiry into the embodied experience of Blackness and being in a changing climate’.