(Food taken by the thoughtless)

There was the age
Of iron
Coming before that of bronze
There was the cross
The wood in torturous Rome
In war the cross and iron wed
Bore no children, only dead.

Maise and corn
Beans and rice
Binding families
In labor neat
Hearing, hunting
Songs and dance
Life accented
Occasional meat.

Of food or work
Only in need
When crime
In finest dignity
The cross of wood
The cross of iron
And now radiation
With endless speed
Shall seize that food
To feed that greed
To turn
The rice bowl of iron
(and of clay I’m told)
Into an empty
Bowl of gold.


Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is also the author of Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..