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Unread 06-06-2022, 10:10 PM
derek fenton derek fenton is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Perth Western Australia
Posts: 46

Written by me in 2015 when Dylann Storm Roof murdered nine Afro-Americans in a church in Charleston. He was wearing a Rhodesian and South African flag on his jacket. Sadly the madness continues!


(With apologies to Felicia Hemans’ Casabianca)

The boy sat in the burning car
on the way to Beit Bridge*.
“Tell me, Mom, is it very far?
Are there cokes in the fridge?”

“The country hasn’t collapsed yet,
but it won’t take too long.
Remember son, please don’t forget,
your former country’s song.”

She said it as she stroked the flag
stuck to the car’s dashboard,
“Rhodesia ran just like our Jag
and not a clapped-out ford!”

It was thirty-five years later
he saw that flag again
adorning a racist hater
and now he felt the pain.

His parents were now both long dead,
their views had died with them
and he felt a terrible dread
lingering in his phlegm.

He remembered what bore that flag-
a tea towel on a tray
(not the dashboard of a Jag)
in San Francisco Bay.

He had cast off his parent’s ways
since coming to live here.
His life was full of brighter days
without a hint of fear.

For the most part they’d been quite fair,
not asking him to take part,
but the noblest thing which perished there
was that young faithful heart!

* Border crossing over the Limpopo River between Zimbabwe and SA.
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Unread 06-12-2022, 03:57 AM
derek fenton derek fenton is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Perth Western Australia
Posts: 46

It is hard to leave the land of your birth forever, even if your tribe was responsible for most of its woes and you are no longer wanted.


With thanks to Edward Thomas’ Adlestrop.

I have stopped at countless little dorps*
when no-one gets on or off.
Just a few moments as the train rests
and its hysterical hissing is replaced
by sounds of animals and birds.
Every time I travelled from Rhodesia,
my doomed, damned and devastated home
to South Africa, with its turn to come,
I passed through thousands of lives lived,
as important to them as mine to me.
They sped by in a blink
as my parents had from the world.
Now my last train ride down to Cape Town
to board a Union Castle liner...
As I leave Africa forever
I vow to visit Adlestrop.

*Small towns.
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Unread 07-17-2022, 03:33 PM
RCL's Avatar
RCL RCL is offline
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,309
Default The Old New Critic

Notes of an Old New Critic

Can it truly be a poem if
It isn’t in a formal shape
It isn’t in a well-known meter
It isn’t cleverly ironic?

It isn’t what’s ambiguous
It isn’t with organic rhymes
It isn’t opposed to paraphrase
It isn't paradoxical?

It isn’t easily read or taught
It's read as a historical text
It's a poet’s biography
It’s biased Lib or GOP?

It's a Frenchman's weird destruction
It's by an AI robot written
It isn’t a solo Verbal Icon
It isn’t a very Well-Wrought Urn?

Last edited by RCL; 07-20-2022 at 07:06 PM.
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