16 december 2011

To a Queen (in answer to Alfred Lord Tennyson) (pastiche)

(with apologies to Alfred Lord Tennyson)

Tempered, complicated – O you that bold
send armies from your office to roam the earth
spoiled by charms, power from birth
your deception has been told since the kings of old.

Victoria, - from your royal face,
from your lips to your brow
snobbishness did flow,
without grace, you treated my people base.

And should your weakness, be reported everywhere,
in gossip and jokes in your fallen empire that declines with time
then let this verse, this rhyme
tell of the worthlessness and how without care,

Then – your soldiers made mistakes,
and in a wild march to scorch the earth, women and children did fall
while you sat enthroned behind a palace-wall
while under trampling boots, canon fire the earth shakes –

Take, Madam, these accusations along,
for from your faults my people was buried in dust,
while Englishmen were heathen they could not trust,
your mindlessness, at a time flowed strong,

And as a ruler spoiling blood
you will have a price to pay in the last day!
May children of my nation’s children say:
“She robbed our parents from liberty, property and food.”

“Her court was impure, her life unclean;
God unleash your power against every vile purpose,
let Your eternal judgment in its reckoning close
against Victoria’s descendants, against the queen;”

“And to the men who at her councils met
who knew when to rape, pillage and take
let You of them a example make,
them who bounded freedom, abusing wider yet”

“By shaping unwanted, unjust decree after decree
which made the innocents blood spill
who exercised their own will
and forever cursed Victoria and they will be.”

[References: “To The Queen: Revered, beloved – O you that hold” by Alfred Lord Tennyson. This poem is written in remembrance of the twenty thousand (some figures are as high as thirty five thousand) innocent white Afrikaner women and children that died in British concentration camps in South Africa, after their farms and houses were scorched by the British in the Anglo-Boer war in South Africa, which includes a great grandmother of mine. For a clear picture of these atrocities read my epic poem “Through the eyes of a field coronet” which is based on the eyewitness account of field coronet (Captain) JJ Potgieter.]

other poems: For now and for always, The temptation of being near to her, Your walking away is measured in watt, In the garden (ABECEDARIUM), Just for a moment it is there, There are people, Unknowing we may be living in a war zone, Holiday, I yearn for the secrets of nature (sonnet), At 52 the nuts of my country are stripped, A strange dream (triolet), The beach, the morning, Where star systems do disappear in the nought (sonnet), Come to my flower garden, Warriors of the civil service, This morning the sky glitters blue, You must not show any fear, My dear loving God, Sad tidings, Morning, Mirror image, The sun hangs orange red, Divorce V, Divorce IV (Espinela), Divorce III, Divorce II (cavatina), Divorce, Respite, At times we are only set on passing (American sonnet), The peach tree, The gardener, The old guitar (cavatina), Dear Lord God, Still life, Two sides to everything (cavatina), I have missed my country, The sardine run, He lies stretched out in the sun, Africa, There’s no other country, When death’s fingers do me touch, I wonder where is an untouched place that firmly does stand, You never came, I am afraid, The silent countdown, Without matter, Dare you character?, Once I wrote a kind of happy song (Orléans rondel prime), There is no other saviour, Alone we come into the world (for my mom on mother’s day), With hunger in your eyes, Please do forgive, Hoba West Meteor, When I do consider how my time is spent, I see him doing carpentry, When the two of us met, John Phillip, On Pretoria (Italian sonnet), Return, Cecil John Rhodes (Italian sonnet) (in answer to Rudyard Kipling), Afterwards, I walk in the veldt near to Majuba hillock, Vain are the words and deeds that are mine (Rubiyat sonnet), When I do find no place of peace (sonnet), Why I remember the Anglo-Boer war (John Dee sonnet), Lord, only in Your footsteps (Persian / Rubiyat quatrain), On a night, Far too quickly time rushes on (Persian /Rubiyat quatrain), Like any other person, She lives beautiful (sonnet), Where this world is but a grain of sand, On the day of my birth, The crucifixion of the Son of God, Today my heart is full of joy, A prayer (Sonnet), On my birthday, My heart has gone quite in me (Persian / Rubiyat quatrain), Come to me, Soldier: yesterday, At this place I have been before (sonnet), There had been a kind of loneliness, When the early the morning does begin (cavatina), Constantly I am astonished, When I hold you tight, Life is a gift, Bus trip at night, I have not seen the spark of life, Kamikaze, Lucifer at sunrise, The things in a town, When from me she is out of sight, How chilly like winter, Some times, I love you, Long Beach, As my eyes gaze into the dark night, I see her dancing gaily, Right against the morass, African September, A room in the past, The secret room, It had been a hell of spring with the sun hanging scorching, The marsh, For my darling, with New Year, The old year, Today people are not interested, South Africa is also my country, In this distant country, What fanciful lives we lead, As if they are beacons, You are my darling (sonnet), On Christmas, Last night I dreamt of you, Where are we now?, I had dreamt of you, At night the mind plays its tricks, Inside you and I dance, One Military Hospital, Something about a bird in a tree, While the year hangs skeleton, I gave my love to you, No other painting, Field of maize, The red arum lilies, Would my words, When the front door, At dusk, Child, Cry, Maybe 4, Maybe 3, Maybe 2, To be us, Photocopy machine, I do love Africa, While everything is turning brown outside, The crumbling man, My small Jack Russell dog, With self contempt I stand in the veldt, The fallen Cuban soldier, There is a time when night sneaks in, After the farm invasions in Zimbabwe, The small redbreast sings and dances, I love you, Walls, A child is a strange thing, Baby lies so fast asleep, It is a pitch-dark night, Hecuba, A pastor,

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