Requiem to Lourenço Marques
They changed your name, burying your identity,
Burning your very soul at their stakes
Of injustice. No Phoenix you, for their
Destruction is too complete for that.
Once proud and beautiful, City of Dreams;
Playground for the wealthy of the world,
Who stretched upon your beaches, as the sun
Fell in silvered shafts upon their yachts.
The tall buildings of a once-proud nation
Now fall into a state of lost decay;
Left to the rats to run the gauntlet,
Trying to escape from the common enemy — Death.
Streets that once were laughter-filled
Are haunted now by the silence of poverty,
Which fills the air with its own
Acrid perfume of uncertain desperation.
The obesity of opulence has been replaced
By that of malnutrition and starvation.
Hollow-eyed faces, turned towards you,
Filled with the fear of their own existence.
Your stretches of green, gold and blue,
Have been replaced by the red of politics,
And the velvety blackness that comes
With the totality of saturnalian liquidation.
© 1978: Colin Gordon-Farleigh