Meandering in South Sudan

Date added: 29/05/2020



From southern equatorial mountains,

and eastern ancient highlands,

to northern Mediterranean Sea,

through four nations, till recently,

and now through five,

the Nile passes without passport.


She flows onwards and downwards,

with gravity and delight,

imperturbably, irresistibly, ineluctably,


with gesticulating grace.


Last week, in blazing dusty Malakal,

I stood on the east bank, near thin cattle,

gazing at the setting sun,

reflected in the river

touching the west bank,

undeveloped for millennial miles and years.


This evening, in hot and green Juba,

I sit on the west bank, near portly cows,

looking east at lush trees,

across the drifting river,

meditating through millennia.


Among the bulrushes of Egypt,

a baby is hidden for safety,

and discovered by royalty,

for raising and releasing of Israel.


Near the banks of the Nile,

a baby is saved from Israel,

for refuge, return and royalty:

‘Out of Egypt have I called my Son.’


© Graham Kings, Nourishing Connections (Canterbury Press, 2020).

first published on Fulcrum Feb 2013