Reaping the Whirlwind
Bindura’s saffron hills have not forgotten them;
Mtoko’s eucalyptus sway and sigh as if again
Those focused minds are with us, those brave men,
The farmers of Rhodesia, who laboured in vain.
You ask where are they now? Swept by malevolence
Disguised in magnanimity, and racial aftermath
Of war to the ends of the earth, slim hope of recompense,
The young to new beginnings; the old a bitter epitaph.
Scrap, junk and columbine, alluvium of the poor
Is all that remains. Peddled for influence and power
Their farms lean slack-jaw in the wind, hungry to restore
Creativity; tight-knit and gracious in their finest hour.
What holocaust could deny ten million people food?
What envy drive those men, deep-rooted in our motherland,
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Children sleeping in a shed deep under the garden clay,
Covered overhead with massive pine tree spars, as bombs rained
Ruthless down on London, heard thousands of our guns fall silent,
Unexplained! “Why? ” I whispered scared, my sister had no answer
Unknowing how that great warrior Churchill had agreed
Night fighters be deployed to stop the cruel armada, high
Above the balloons. A different duel now, with men the same breed
As themselves. But across the broad swathe of London sky,
Sombre and formidable, first in dozens then in hundreds,
Heinkels marched in dark battalions, flaunting the balkenkreuz,
Lit by London’s ring of fire, loosing an avalanche of cannon shell;
Drumfest of TNT’s murderous death-knell scything the streets.
Three nights we listened fearful, my sister and I, to the roar
And tremble, crash and smash, break and shake of Nazi’s proud
Might. Hearing only the distant rumble of battle as raw,
Naked searchlights swept in vain the pink underbelly of cloud,
Far above us in the moonless night. But we knew the blind
Whirlwind flail of machine guns was shredding our Blenheims.
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