Treasure Island

Gert Strydom

(03 April 1964 / Johannesburg, South Africa)

A Grave Situation


When I walked away from the Marders Hotel
the world seemed to be stumbling towards me
and I couldn’t tell the time,
the air was fresh and cold
and as if my feet were totally free from my body,

the traffic lights
and cars were drifting out of the night
and I gripped on a lamppost to get hold of myself,
waved a taxi down that came along
and the driver was short like a dwarf or an elf

and I paid him for a trip to get home,
but he took me to hell and gone,
it felt as if we were going to Rome
and somewhere along the way

we stopped and he went for a wee
and he told me to wait,
disappeared through a iron gate
and after a time I got out to see,

but though that probably he was far away
and though that I heard a distant scream
struggling right through a cemetery
thinking that everything is just a strange dream

but I did not take closer scrutiny
at what was in front of me
and slipped and fell into a open hole
with a loud thud with my face in the mud

and immediately I was sober,
seeing someone moving towards me,
slipping and falling on some wed clods
I said: “damned, Lord God,
who the hell is this? ”

The strange little man gave a short hiss,
trying to gauge the situation
with eyes huge as saucers
in a fearful tone said:

“Satan, leave my body alone”
and without any goodbyes
with a big leap he was gone
and in that grave, I was the only one.

Submitted: Monday, April 29, 2013
Edited: Monday, April 29, 2013
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