Peter Jarvis was born in Zimbabwe to a family of early settlers. He was educated in Zimbabwe and South Africa before completing further studies in Scotland. He returned to Zimbabwe to work in African education, but his opposition to the Smith government forced his return to UK. Following this, he taught in Fife for twenty years. Upon retiring, he worked in Botswana as part of a team of British Council teachers, and them completed two placements in northern Namibia with VSO as a trainer and adviser. His love of poetry has been affirmed through teaching. He has had poems published in Poetry Scotland and Red Squirrel, and a pamphlet appeared with Happenstance in 2015.
Old Year’s Eve, Kariega
Amm’s farm stall in Albany, near Salem:
QUEEN PINEAPPLES – TWO-AND-SIXPENCE PER SACK
The rutted road to Kariega beach. We haul
the pines – sack gripped by its ears – down the dune
leaving a turtle-trail scuffed behind us, check
the beach for gullies, side-tows and backwash.
We set up for the day – surfing and beach cricket,
pineapple chunks dipped into ocean saltiness.
Nightfall. Beneath the landmark pair of sequoias
we help scatter chalk on the cement dance floor,
watch from a mound the whirl of dancers,
lovers drifting in close embrace. Watch amazed
Alf Wilmot on bass; Rex Amm brushing his drum;
dear austere Dad thumping the keys like Crazy Otto.