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Wanderers and nomads have gone to see their chieftains

Will this be the end of the rain and the birds?

Who can send an emissary to speak to the seasons?

For the ravens and the crows already soak up the skies…


I’m digging for some words beneath the stones in Zimbabwe

I’m searching for a drum song in the jungles of Zaire

I’m groping for the blood-moon in the mountains of Malawi

Looking for the Lion of Ethiopia…


The setting dusk is darkened by the bark of the baboon

The frogs and the owls no longer call to the moon

The warlords have gathered, blue smoke hiss from teeth of chrome

And the baobab lies trembling in the boiling blood-loam


The fireplace is broken and the grinding stone too

Its million pieces flung across the plains of Africa

Each dusty fragment a seed from which grows

The memory of a debt that only you and I will know




Seven seasoned soldiers have been summoned from Saigon

A craven walkie talkie puts their bloodshot armour on

Some drink beer milk, some drink kinky-kola

Sheep dogs live in Outeniqua

Gun dogs in Angola


Flames lick the corners of each hungry horseman’s smile

They have locusts in the scabbards and deserts in their eyes

Passing through the air they leave a sea of fetid rumours

As they ride across the skyline on a secret trail of lies



I found some words beneath a stone in Zimbabwe

I heard a distant drum song in the jungles of Zaire

The blood-moon spoke of war in the mountains of Malawi

But I never found the Lion of Ethiopia



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