Tuesday, December 11, 2012


              Norman Rockwell

Letter 'V'


Vacuous each raucous note,
Out of her unbridled throat!
Isn't it time she realised
Chatter often is despised?
Empty words prove an empty brain!
So let me use my voice again!

Once upon a time there was Camelot.
Once upon a time there was Rhodesia.
I am looking through the wrong end of a telescope.
And there, far away,
In a country that no longer exists,
I see a group of young girls
Whose youth no longer exists.
We are teachers.
The children we teach are white…..of course.
We are sitting on the stoep
Drinking Sundowners.
Life is good in Rhodesia……
On the surface at least.
And the surface is where we live.
This Breadbasket of Africa
Is abundant in everything;
Sunshine, soil, rains, manpower,
And goodwill.
Yes, goodwill.
But even the name is an insult
Named after a white man,
Cecil John Rhodes.
Do we care about that?
For we are apolitical,
Careless, unimaginative
And wrapped up in ourselves.
Are we aloof?
The black men with whom we come into contact
Are friendly and so are we.
We laugh together
We joke together.
But we never eat together.
For they are servants.
Heady stuff for silly little white girls
From the lower middle class.
'Here in Rhodesia, Mum, I'm waited on hand and foot'.
 It is all so intoxicating.
The wide, wide African skies, the baobabs,
The chongololos, the flame trees, the kopjes.
And the possibilities of romance are thrilling;
Romance with a white man…….. of course.
So here we sit on the stoep
Drinking our Sundowners,
A handsome servant in a snow-white uniform
Hovering near.
But hey!
There's a young African standing in the dusty road,
Looking at us!
Could his name be Robert Mugabe?


Roger Owen Green said...

always loved that Rockwell picture, and your words are appropriate

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Unknown said...

Was Zimbabwe former Rhodesia? Hope that in your poem you're talking about the past, and that racial relationships have changed since then?

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

everyone got a voice, but they must take their turns, otherwise it is just noise.

Kate said...

Rockwell is still VERY appealing art. Kate, ABC Team

ChrisJ said...

Interesting poem and thoughtful point of view.