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The Mamba is the Journal of the Africa Haiku Network and a wonderful source of inspiration: for example, it’s where I found Ingrid Baluchi’s haiku that led me to work on The Silence of Elephants. This haiga started off in the same way. I wrote to Gregory Piko and he kindly gave me permission to use his haiku published in The Mamba 6 (Sept 2018). My intention was to use video clips in a similar style to The Silence of Elephants and so I played around with a sequence of clips I’d taken but I couldn’t get the result I wanted and so I shelved the project for a few months. One day recently I was working with some maps of Africa in the WordFoto app and it occurred to me that perhaps I could use its typographic style to produce a haiga. It took a while – and some correspondence with Greg – to arrive at this short video. It uses repetition of a single still image, with text and sound, and so is quite different stylistically from the other haiga I’ve made such as Three Classic Winter Haiku. Here’s the image the haiga uses. I’ve uploaded it into my Photo Blog where you can access a larger version or buy a download.

Rhinoceros: the haiga image
The Rhinos

A haiga from the lovely haiku by Ingrid Baluchi ( with her permission. The video footage was shot at Amakhala Private Game Reserve, South Africa in December 2020 (

Lord of Life is read by Harry Owen with artworks by Sally Scott: video concept and edit by Roddy Fox.

Harry and I launched a poetry to imagery collaboration to take our work on to a virtual platform in response to the Covid-19 lockdown in South Africa. To our great surprise this piece won a Standard Bank Ovation Award for innovation and excellence on the Fringe at South Africa’s Virtual National Arts Festival.

The award winning documentary from Bonné de Bod and Susan Scott – two South African filmmakers who have embedded themselves on the front-line of the Rhino genocide. 

Stroop: Journey Into the Rhino Horn War – Official Trailer.

As with Harry Owen’s previous collections, The Cull: new and resurrected poems reflects his lifelong fascination with, and growing concern for, the natural world, especially in relation to damaging human interactions with it.

Our encroachment upon formerly pristine wildlife habitat has given rise to an enormous increase in cries for the ‘culling’ (i.e. organised slaughter) of animals deemed to be problematic. Elephant ivory, rhino horn, lion bones and the body parts of innumerable other animals are much in demand so that these and many other magnificent creatures are under real threat of extinction. Poaching and trophy hunting (and the despicable business of ‘canned hunting’) add to the pressure.

So culling is at best a questionable practice. This collection attempts to ask some of those hard questions while at the same time celebrating the grandeur of what we still have.

The Cull: new and resurrected poems is scheduled for publication in the first part of 2017.

Edward Bibbey of De//Cultured was inspired by the rhino anthology to create these powerful artworks using a modern urban, graffiti-style. He has kindly sent us these six images to distribute for non-commercial, non-profit, educational and charitable use.





The current issue of Plumwood Mountain has a fine review by Moira Sheppard of For Rhino in a Shrinking World .  She concludes:

“Harry Owen’s anthology of poems is more than a vigil; it is more than a protest; it is a loud and desperate plea for humankind to question their ideologies and actively help save these rhinos, nature and our future.”

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Here’s the wonderful news – and great footage – from Kariega.  It’s movingly narrated by Dr Will Fowlds who treated Thandi, and the late Themba, after their brutal attack by poachers in March 2012.

Many thanks to Adrian Steirn for getting this out so soon after Thandi gave birth on January 13th 2015.

Last Sunday host Dennis Morton highlighted the Rhino Anthology on KUSP’s weekly Poetry Show broadcast from Santa Cruz, California.

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He movingly reads a selection of the poems and the introductory material of the book. Even better, KUSP’s blog page promises more readings from the Anthology at a future date.  You can listen to the podcast by clicking through to the Poetry Show website at KUSP.

All of the KUSP Poetry Show podcasts are in iTunes, see below, and I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s great that the Anthology is now reaching a much wider audience.

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Great video recording by Roar recordings: Harry reciting Eyona indala to eloquent visuals and music.