Monday, May 04, 2009

"So little done, so much to do."- last words of Cecil John Rhodes, b. 5 July 1853, d. 26 March 1902. Rhodes was an unapologetic British imperialist, who founded the De Beers Mining Company (with Charles Dunell Rudd on 13 March 1888) and planned for the "ultimate recovery of the United States of America as an integral part of the British Empire" in his 1877 will. By the time of his death his fortune had been made and his legacy established the Rhodes scholarships. "Mr. Rhodes hoped that his plan of bringing able students from throughout the English-speaking world and beyond to study at Oxford University would aid in the promotion of international understanding and peace."-website of the Rhodes Trust. Some 80 Rhodes scholars (32 American) take up degree courses at Oxford each year.

Cecil John Rhodes, death mask, National Portrait Gallery, London LINK

I know quite well that whether Mr. Rhodes is the lofty and worshipful patriot and statesman that multitudes believe him to be, or Satan come again, as the rest of the world account him, he is still the most imposing figure in the British empire outside of England. When he stands on the Cape of Good Hope, his shadow falls to the Zambesi. He is the only colonial in the British dominions whose goings and comings are chronicled and discussed under all the globe's meridians, and whose speeches, unclipped, are cabled from the ends of the earth; and he is the only unroyal outsider whose arrival in London can compete for attention with an eclipse.
- Mark Twain, Following the Equator

Cecil Rhodes Memorial, Buluwayo, Zimbabwe, or, Rhodesia, as it was then known. 

“We must find new lands from which we can easily obtain raw materials and at the same time exploit the cheap slave labor that is available from the natives of the colonies. The colonies would also provide a dumping ground for the surplus goods produced in our factories.”-Cecil John Rhodes

The Limping Turkey

She foraged through our yard two weeks ago.
Her attempt to walk was a tragic failure.
She hopped on her left leg, the right broken and useless.
I speculated on her chance of surviving the night.
And on which hungry predator would end her life.
We had stopped letting our cats wander outside when the fishers returned many years ago.
Surely they would gleefully rip her apart,
If not coyote, raptor, dog or man.
But she returned this morning dropping healthy gobs of turkey shit,
To the enraged screams of our terriers.

Update: May 20, 2009
The turkey is still with us. She hides in the woods amongst the fallen branches of a logging done two years ago. Her leg may be healing and she is tentatively putting some weight on it as she browses under the bird feeders hanging from an oak next to the driveway.

photograph by Beth Bonanno 2009

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