Goodbye to an Evergreen

Who dropped the seed that blossoms every spring

Along the banks of Munyomezi's [1] stream

Into the Acacia's shade, whose magic dream

The silent years enshrine? With every ring [2]

Preserving memories which the decades sing

In whispers through the feathered leaves that gleam

In Zambia's brilliant sun, which it may seem

Had wished to scorch the beauty love must bring.

The sower must have surely seen the shade,

The birds, the children who have played beneath

The majesty of this great evergreen.

And if he moves it with a gentle spade

It will not die, but grace another heath

With grandeur that e'en here will still be seen.


'The Evergreens' was the respectful name given to a group of older expatriate missionaries at Chikankata


April 1976

[1]  One of Chikankata's streams, meaning 'where the people drink'

[2]  The annual rings of a tree