Poem from Kathryn Waddell Takara’s 2015 book


Under the rule of a zealot
Opponents beaten and discouraged
Thwarted elections
Forgotten revolution
The meaning of democracy.

Wild animals near extinction
Illegal hunters
Heedless, greedy poachers
Elephants and rhinos at high risk
Rare tusks for ancient Chinese remedies
Jewelry, decorative art, piano keys
Endangered even on animal preserves
Where empty nests dot the abandoned trees in leafless intricacy
All Nature a sunset witness.

Ignorant collaborators
Hungry, envious of Western wealth
Commit unspeakable acts of cruelty to feed their families and greed.

Awesome independence corrupts
Distorted collective vision of progress
Ignores economic meltdown
As policy supports political intimidation
Social unrest dominated by bully tactics.

Discontent rumbles under the drought of inequality
Like magma inflates before an eruption.

Copyright 2015 Pacific Raven Press, LLC


This poem, originally published in Zimbabwe Spin: Politics and Poetics by Kathryn Waddell Takara, refers in part to the then-President of Zimbabwe, the late Robert Mugabe (Feb. 21, 1924 – Sept. 6, 2019).

Review of Zimbabwe Spin: Politics and Poetics:

“Poets forge and foster hope. Is present-day Zimbabwe worth a song? Well, Kathryn Takara forces us to believe so: ‘Creative melodies of possibility flash across the darkening horizon lit by evening fires.’ She predicts that the Great House will rise again from its current political mess. Listen to this great American poet, and you will realize Charles Baudelaire lives on. Takara’s dexterity in offering us Zimbabwe on a sweet and sour plate tells us that poetry is sister to photography.”

–George Gnapka, PhD, author and professor in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

Copyright 2015 Pacific Raven Press, LLC