Search for a Bride by Lupenga Mphande (Malawi)
Lubani lavender will give her away,
Or else her melodious voice.
I will move in ivory light at dawn,
Comb ridge after ridge of the green landscape,
For I am the shell-necklace lover of the hills,
Intent on finding Tasiyana for a bride.
Only the speckled pigeon’s cooing Can explain to me now, note by note,
Why I should stop the search for my bride.
I will know her,
I am certain,
By the mark of her bracelet,
The sunspots on her freckled face
And the sheen of her shell necklace.
I will woo her with the nimble feet of an ingoma dancer,
I will unlace her sunbrown mountain sandals, and
Untie her loin cloth of black, red and green,
Bright like flames on the lake,
And I will engulf her with the fire of my loins.
But should any mortal come between her and me,
I will turn to the sun and blind her with my blood.