Milton High School

Selborne Ave, Bulawayo

Poetry

 Here is no ancient pile all stained and scarred
By centuries of rain and blasting storm,
Yet in the few short years since thou was born,
No backward look thy spreading fame has marred.
Forth went thy sons when jealous races warred,
Died at Latema, and 'mid Flanders corn,
While Achi Baba grim and battle worn
O'er Milton graves eternally keeps guard.
Proud were the man whose noble name you bear
Could he behold the inmates of your walls.
O'er half a continent thy summons calls
Fathers to place their sons in Milton's care;
Throughout this land thy cry rings loud and long,
"Oh quit yourselves like men. Be strong, be strong!"
Newton Henry Dampier Spicer (circa. 1920)



"You are as old as your doubts, as young as your faith;
as old as your fears, as young as your selfconfidence;
you are as old as your despair, but enduringly young as your hope."
Anthony Hall (1976)



The blazing sun beats down,
On the agony of the tortured ground,
Sucking the last moisture from the sand,
Draining all life from the barren land.
Withered trees droop in battered rows,
Crouching leafless-lifeless as the dry wind blows,
Small grey lizards dart across the scorching stone,
Restless, primeval, of a time long gone.
Spiralling dust columns rise and fall,
Whirling viciously, slender and tall,
The harsh rustle of the sun-scorched grass,
Trampled flat as anxious animals pass.
The deathly silence is shattered by a buzzard's shriek,
As he wheels and turns in the milky heavens bleak,
Fiendishly marking his weakening prey,
Slowly perishing with the dying day.
Mark Foskett (1976)



Dear little girl in plaits and ribbon bows,
Fat little tummy and pigeon toes,
Puffed-up cheeks all rosy red,
Sweet lips smeared in butter, and bread
Crumbs clinging to your dimpled chin,
Free from every kind of sin;
Except for the time when you strangled the cat,
And cut little holes in your father's hat,
And bit your brother's ear in two,
And smeared your mother's dress with glue.
Never smiling, always cross,
Always wanting to be the boss!
Always fighting, always eating,
Never scared to take the beating.
But lo! as the years creep slowly on,
Your girlish games will soon be gone.
Now you turn your mind to boys,
Away with pigtails, sweets and toys!
You'll leave the house and be a rover;
Yes, you're "busting out all over".
High-heeled shoes, and stockings too,
Nothing's good enough for you.
Dances, parties, moonlit nights,
Cotton frocks have changed to tights.
Love affairs with strange young men,
A life of wild romance, and then...
Matrimony comes your way,
To have and to hold 'til your dying day.
And as the good years come and go,
And as your children learn to grow:
As your beauty fades away,
And once-gold hair has turned to grey...
Think back, and remember years ago,
A sweet little girl with a ribbon bow,
And grubby hands and dimpled chin-
Isn't age a wretched sin?
Sleep well, little pig-tailed one
And make the very best of the shining sun;
For one day some old shady tree,
Will hide its light and warmth from thee.
John Eppel (1965)


The Class of 64
On looking at my class of sixty four
I know of three who were killed in the war:
poor old Robbie whose chopper was brought down,
Brian blown up by a landmine outside town;
then there was Noel who died from the drink,
caused no doubt by the war I think:
but what of the others, where did they all go?
The gifted, able, ordinary and slow.
How many are still left in our little town,
wondering how dreams came tumbling down.
John, the poet, stayed leaving in his mind.
Where else on earth would so few be left behind,
with so many scattered all over the world:
their fates unknown, their stories not unfurled.

Derek Fenton