Under the Wings of Africa is a provocative mélange of poetry, memoir, and letters to a lover chronicling the author’s visit to South Africa in the company of his wife. Beautifully detailed descriptions of the landscape, the people, and the author’s greatest passion for bird watching are woven into a rich narrative of love and loss. In this book fact and fiction are expertly manipulated by Weier to create an aesthetic tapestry of his inner and outer worlds.
In the fall of 2001 I traveled to Africa. That much, at least, I could say is true, is factual. My partner traveled with me, we had determined that we would see as much of the South African landscape as we could manage. This, I say, is also true. The rented car. The Kalahari. Kruger Park. The Swartberg drive. The trees. The flowers, and the birds. All true. All fact. I think it was true.
But where the South African sun began to sear it way across my imagination, that I’m not sure I can tell you. That red disa I wrote about on the first day, did I actually see it, identify it. Or had I simply pulled it out of the South African literature to enter in my diary as a flower one might possibly see on the cape. A fictional flower in that sense.
I could talk more about flowers, but I know your interest has mostly to do with women. Was there another woman? Ah, so that’s the question. The other woman.