Thursday, 16 November 2017

One Liners - one track.

Sorry to all you wonderful Dead Good blog readers - I almost let you down this week.  I was appearing on stage the night before my regular blogging day and was lost for words.  My role in Puccini's mini opera Gianni Schicchi proved to be quite challenging. Wait for it .... here is my one-liner of the week - "After playing a corpse for 3 nights, I have to admit, I was a little stiff."  Well it was funny at the time. As they say, you really had to be there. A good time was had by all.  We played to an almost full house for two of the three nights. The best part for me was hearing the wonderful voices of my fellow cast members and sharing in the backstage banter. Loved it.

I have been worried about what's going on in Africa this week. watch the news and have been chatting online to my cousin who has lived in South Africa since the mid 1970s and has friends over the border in Zimbabwe. The situation in Zimbabwe was dreadful when I stayed with her 2000. During the last seventeen years, raging inflation, poverty disease and fear have driven more and more Zimbabweans out of their native country.  The former British colony gained independence and was ruined by political corruption, ethnic cleansing of the white population, ruination of the incredibly productive agricultural export trade and the tyrannical rule of the President Robert Mugabe.

This week, the 90 year old despot has been put under house arrest by his own armed forces who I hope will do their best to restore Zimbawe to free democratic rule. The situation is volatile but calm at the moment. While we hope for calm and common sense to prevail, I want to ask - why has no-one has intervened before.  So many have suffered at the hands of this elected official turned lunatic. Zimbawe, once called 'the bread basket of the world' is reduced to survival on food aid, a demise that has disgusted most of the free world.

I wrote the poem in 2009... I hoped then that things might get better. I still do.

Black and White (Adele V. Robinson 2009)

Match One

Black and white chess board stood evenly checked
all the pieces lined up in their place. 

White held power: black suppressed.
Smith slept peaceful in his bed.

Knights in their castles, bishops supreme
forced pawns in fields, fill the bread basket
Black freedom, an unrealisable dream. 

The West looks on with admiration:
At white African domination.

Match Two
The White Queen hands over independence.
New strategies come into play.

Elections bring black domination
as Smith’s regime is chased away.

Freedom and fairness proclaim the day.
Pieces move to power positions
Black and white in counter-play.

The West just smirks in indignation:
The white man’s grave is dug today. 

Match Three

New Black king charges veteran knights
to take white castles forcibly.

An exodus begins in earnest
As prosperous farmers start to flee.

What of the incumbent tenant? Does he know
the art of furrow, farm and planting?
He cannot reap – he did not sow.

The West looks on with consternation:
This is an emerging Nation.   

Match Four  

Give us this day our daily bread.
No grain to sell – barely a crust.
Economy blowing in the wind:
Howling inflation – no hope just dust.

Black cries out in poverty,
Demands a new democracy
to depose dictatorial tyranny.

The West ignores their ardent plea:
 "Help to set our people free." 

Match Five

Election sows seeds of corruption,
Opposition crushed and made to pay. 

Defeat allows wanton destruction.
Homes demolished, men taken away.

Orphaned children roam the streets,
Raw sewage runs in putrid rivers
Breeding cholera at their feet. 

The West stands back, observes the sight. 
Now white is black and black is white.

Check Mate
Disease blows over the chess board now
where once grew pride's prosperity. 

A lost generation without education 
No export income – devaluation.

Consumed by power: A spat out husk. 
Corrupted, tortured, beaten and bust. 
Darkness is falling: already it’s dusk.

The West impose their damning sanctions. 
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.   

Post-Match Analysis

Stalemate now. Why not prevention?
It seems all black and white to me.
No oil or gas?  No Western intervention.

Thank you for reading.  Adele