Poem “Verwoerd, Verwoerd, They Cry A Poem” by Dorothy Hewitt

No doves for you. Verwoerd,

The doves won't fly

There's only blood

In the African sky

A twist of bones

And a smell of death.

Blood in the dust

Of the wild wind's breath.

In the compounds of the Kimberleys

The diamond miners say.

'These diamonds glitter with our blood,

White, white as death are they.'

In the hot. white streets of Africa,

Black, black with bullets' rain.

The ghosts who died at Sharpeville

Rise up to die again.

The brave, young men of Africa

Come marching out to die.

Their footprints thudding in the dust,

'Verwoerd, Verwoerd,' they cry.

Come marching for you Verwoerd,

Down freedom's angry road,

Cry 'Evil' on you Verwoerd

For whip and gun and goad.

Cry 'Evil' on you Verwoerd,

Cry 'Evil' from the sky,

The bloody skies of Africa

Where even doves won't fly.

A bullet in a flogger's neck

To hold a head awry.

An echo on an angry wind,

'Verwoerd, Verwoerd; they cry.

For death and whip and hunger pain

Down in your diamond mine,

They're coming for you Verwoerd

And all your dirty kind.

The women in the shanty towns,

The babies stumbling blind,

They're coming for you. Verwoerd

And all your craven kind.

And all the roads of Africa

Are thick with marching men.

For every man that's shot to dead

A man will rise again.

There's doves for us, Verwoerd.

They wheel and fly.

Red with the dawn

In the African sky.

White is our bone,

Red is our death,

To make us a song

For the wild wind's breath.

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