Gert Strydom

(03 April 1964 / Johannesburg, South Africa)

Ozymandias (in reply to Percy Bysshe Shelley)


I saw a traveller coming from the desert
wrapped in white cloth
and the man greeted me, asked for water
and told me about Ozymandias, the great king
whose broken statue still commanded respect
whose kingdom was now laid bare
from the covering sand

and suddenly the sky darkened
as if the sun for moments took flight
and far of out in the desert
the red dust hang like a huge sandstorm

but the size of it was severe
and I saw something rising, materializing
getting form
the huge legs of stone blazing alive
and the entire body of it,
that colossal wreck became whole

and around it was gathered
a might crowd of armed men
bowing down to its honour
and praying to it
while a voice like thunder
cried out for the entire world
to despair, to bow before
before its supreme reign,

before it turned north,
marching with its army
right into Europe
to destroy, to enslave
and to take with force.

[Reference: Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley.]

Submitted: Wednesday, September 21, 2011

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