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April 01st 2008 print

Derek Fenton

Of Mountains and Mole Hills

On that day we three began our climb,
Sir Edmund, the Queen and me:
It was a wonderful time
back in nineteen fifty three.
 
Sir Edmund, the Queen and me,
vertices of a triangle
back in nineteen fifty three;
edges of an Empire which dangle,
 
vertices of a triangle,
into three separate seas.
Edges of an Empire which dangle,
totalling one hundred and eighty degrees
 
into three separate seas.
England, Rhodesia and N.Z.,
totalling one hundred and eighty degrees,
two still alive and one now dead.
 
England, Rhodesia and N.Z.,
each with its own claim to fame.
Two still alive and one now dead,
the middle one having lost its name.
 
Each with its own claim to fame,
a Monarch, mutineer and mountaineer
the middle one now having lost its name
once led by Smith who knew no fear.
 
A Monarch, mutineer and mountaineer;
lady, gentleman and, to many, knave,
one Ian Smith who knew no fear;
and Hillary noble and brave.
 
Lady, gentleman and, to many, knave,
Smith who is recently deceased,
and Hillary, noble and brave.
While the Queen still at life’s feast!
 
Smith, who is recently deceased,
lauded by just a few,
while the Queen still at life’s feast,
and Hillary brave and true,
 
lauded by more than a few.
She at the top of her peak
and Hillary brave and true.
It is now left for me to seek
 
what is there at the top of my peak.
Chances are it will be a molehill.
It is now left for me to seek
my slightly elevated thrill;
 
but how could it have been clear to me
on that day we three began our climb?
Back in nineteen fifty three
it was a wonderful time!

Derek Fenton