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Posts Tagged ‘POEM:VicFallsCopperBelt’

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An old map of Zambia.

 

Journey from Victoria Falls to the Copperbelt.

They say that once you’ve crossed the Zambezi, you’ll always return.   

You’ll come back to this country, for its beauty you’ll yearn.

 

How many times has that theory been proven so true,

we’ve said goodbye to our friends, packed up and left you.

Only to come back in a few years time, to the river,

winding  its way through this country so fine.

 

The Victoria Falls with enormous gorges,

rushing water as if from a thousand rivers,

 rainbow of colours, the noise of the falls,

the excitement of watching those solid water walls.

Cruising down river on boats with game guards,

watching for hippos or crocs in their paths.

 

Sunsets on Lake Kariba as birds all rise

over game that runs free on either side

of a lake that’s so big it has waves like a sea…

Sundowners on the terrace looking over the water,

watching the sun’s death at seven and a quarter…

 

Driving through the escarpment, that range of hills forming a border

between two countries, a vital road link that’s little-used now

as they quarrel over things that don’t matter somehow.

 

Bowling along the road to Lusaka and the Copperbelt.

Across the Zambezi again, while the heat melts.

 

Arrive in Lusaka at lunchtime to see

the streams of traffic in that busy city,

then on through the maise fields and sugar cane,

up to Kabwe where it’s stacked ready for the trains.

A long empty stretch and you reach Kapiri

– if you blink a lot, you’ll miss it completely.

 

Straight flat roads to drive ‘til you’re bored.

The turn-off at Fisenge to get on the right road

and you’re on your way to Kitwe and the Rhokana Mine

– the Hub of the Copperbelt and a town that’s fine.

 

One of the largest and best-equipped mines around

where they hurl the copper-bearing ore up from the ground.

Under the surface, the tunnels are huge

– all white tiled and sparkling – nothing crude.

 

Perfectly safe for all the workers below,

stepping into the cages as they go,

down in the depths to seek the country’s life-blood.

Working long hours earning money to buy food

 

for their many children and wives,

who’ve gone without for most of their lives.

Now wages are better – conditions more fair,

good health and happiness no longer so rare.

 

Neat houses and gardens well-tended line the streets.

Lots of shady park benches where gossipers meet.

A way of life that can’t be compared; peace

and quiet, beauty in the sunshine, fresh air…

 

Days to laze and lots of time to contemplate

how good life can be, before it’s too late.

Relax, while you’re young, enjoy the sunshine and happiness of home

surrounded by friends you’re never alone.

 

Make a point of crossing our Zambezi River  sometime

– take a long, long holiday – come see this fabulous country of mine!

 

Frances Macaulay Forde © 1973

 

@FrancesMForde  #Nostalgia  #LovePoemAfrica  #Zambia  #NorthernRhodesia  #POEM:VicFallsCopperBelt

 

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