The sounds of the devil come not long after the thunder,
(Out of the craters of Virunga, the fire the rains can’t dampen)
new guns to wage war on paradise.
His serpent uncoils in verdant Eden,
Eyes of amber and heart of darkness,
the beast they call the mighty Congo
whose black tributaries feed these savage lands,
— this savage man that settled upon the garden
like a parasite of old colonial greed.
“There is black gold enough for all,” the devil decrees
“do not deny yourselves this fruit
for Paradise is lost upon these apes and lesser men—
Live as kings, I say, nay Gods,
And may your wealth be tempered only by your lust.”
The guns spit their venom
Brother unto brother,
Drunk on the poison of false promises, false riches.
And as the thunder echoes across the delta
and the tears of the innocents feed the swollen river
(falling heavier than the tropical rain),
The sounds of the old ones come not long after,
out of the craters of Virunga…
“The horror, oh, the horror…”
(c) Darren Hawbrook
I was inspired to write this after watching the brilliant and moving documentary film Virunga, available on Netflix. Please watch it and spread the word to support the remarkable people fighting to save the last mountain gorillas on the planet.
In the forested depths of eastern Congo lies Virunga National Park, one of the most bio-diverse places on Earth and home to the planet’s last remaining mountain gorillas. In this wild, but enchanted environment, a small and embattled team of park rangers – including an ex-child soldier turned ranger, a caretaker of orphan gorillas and a dedicated conservationist – protect this UNESCO world heritage site from armed militia, poachers and the dark forces struggling to control Congo’s rich natural resources. When the newly formed M23 rebel group declares war, a new conflict threatens the lives and stability of everyone and everything they’ve worked so hard to protect, with the filmmakers and the film’s participants caught in the crossfire.
A powerful combination of investigative journalism and nature documentary, VIRUNGA is the incredible true story of a group of courageous people risking their lives to build a better future in a part of Africa the world’s forgotten, and a gripping exposé of the realities of life in the Congo.
From director Orlando von Einsiedel and executive producer Leonardo DiCaprio.