Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Road taken by Rhodes

asks us to write about a road that has been important to us


All roads led to Rhodesia, as far as I was concerned.
That was why I left Britain, and why I never returned.
A holiday in France convinced me that England was too grey;
I loved it in the summer, but I longed to get away.
A chance encounter in London made me feel my place in the sun
Was in the country of Rhodesia, and so the deed was done.
I shook off the dust of the 'old country' and headed South with glee,
Convinced that a Paradise on Earth was there, awaiting me.

And so it was, in a sort of way; the 'champagne climate' was great,
The races mixed quite happily; I never saw signs of hate.
Of course it was a society that was very far from fair,
But no-one starved or rioted, at least not while I was there.

I left in 1960, before the U.D.I,
When Rhodesia declared independence, hoping it could get by
Without the protection of Britain. But this was not to be.
An uprising of nationalism led to calamity.
Of course, the fight was hopeless; the Africans had the right
To claim their country back again, as very well they might.
But the aftermath was bloody, as black turned against black;
The Europeans weren't wanted and most of them had to pack.
The country is now Zimbabwe; it's not often in the news;
And about the rights and wrongs of things we all have different views.
But I remember with affection the way things used to be.
I had followed Rhodes to Rhodesia on the road that was right for me.

And who was this Rhodes I followed? A megalomaniac 
Who thought all the world should be British and simply never looked back.
He named Rhodesia after himself, clearly puffed up with pride,
And he was buried in the country when, finally, he died.
There are wrongs and rights on every side, but I can still declare
That it was a happy country, when I was living there.


Here's the rear view of some walkers
And some of you may say
You cannot guess their ages
For they're turned the other way.
They're striding-out quite sturdily,
You can only see their backs,
I sense a certain amount of speed;
Yes, for sure they're making tracks.
But one thing gives the game away
(It's the same the whole world over)
Every one is looking down!
They're afraid of falling over!
If they were young their eager chins
Would be pointing straight ahead;
They'd be striding out unworried
By obstructions to their tread!
But, when one gets to a certain age,
One always fears the trip
That may land you back in hospital
With a broken leg or hip!
Forget about the wrinkles
And the hair that's turning grey!
It's the looking at the path ahead
That gives the game away!

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