Treasure Island

Gert Strydom

(03 April 1964 / Johannesburg, South Africa)

This Earth And Time Is Not Mine (Sonnet Corona)


I

This earth, climate, country in 2013
where I have been placed by destiny
by birth as a man among men
is not mine and this isn’t mutiny,

but I would rather have the place
where my ancestors dwelt
with the veldt being almost endless space
when before the almighty God the whole nation knelt

as simple sincere people of their word
that followed a work ethic with respect
where sex was enticing, not spurt
out as the offering of a Manichean sect

but still the sky at times is hued blue,
love at least at times is true.


II

Love at least at times is true,
on the first of May it was a holiday
and I could not be with you,
while autumn leaves at my feet lay

and trees were being stripped,
I could smell the decay
of the city, the whole country on a road trip
as if we had gone without delay

back in time, as if we had stepped into
a third world life,
that sticks to you like glue,
where only criminals and the rich can survive

and undisturbed we life our lives; go work and school,
like the circling swell in a whirlpool


III

Like the circling swell in a whirlpool,
is my country’s love to me
and like a simple fool.
I am smitten with her as if there isn’t any

other that can be true,
as if I am inseparable from her
I dance on sheer cliffs gazing at the blue,
beyond the edge that I see there

and I know in cause due
destruction will come from her hands,
from her and her whole retinue
with horrific demands

and still I call upon the Lord and his angelic host,
when I think of all I have lost.


IV

When I think of all I have lost,
at the hands of my fellow countrymen,
try and count the cost
brought on me by mere men

with the weight, the severity dealt to me,
even if oppression, dispossession is running rife,
yet in a way I am still free
in my daily living and strive

to be happy and I will keep calling it home,
believing that in His time the Lord God will restore,
even if all over it I will have to roam
and He will make everything better than before

and to me this place is still heartfelt;
give me a country with the open veldt.


V

Give me a country with the open veldt
that stretches out onto the blue sky,
where falcons and eagles fly,
where in ages past my forefathers knelt

before the almighty Lord and had beheld
the salvation from his hand and as time passes by
His blessings still lie
on their descendants and who with heartfelt

humility walk in the steps of their fathers
and live in dignity
where words and deeds do persuade
and no ruler and all his followers
will strip honourable men from their integrity
but how surely did the vision fade.


VI

But how surely did the vision fade
of a new bright republic without decay
and with hatred unfair laws were made,
bringing new oppression into play

with corruption and inadequacy killing merit,
sweeping all hopes of making a living away,
as not to permit
the white minority to also have a day

but at the heart of all of this lay
the need to take by force
to make the Afrikaner pay
and to possessions and property the divorce

and form the corruption and oppression I want to be free;
my world, my life and time will never be.


VII

My world, my life and time will never be
as it had been before
and never will I again see
the sheer innocence, the passions of youth will be no more

as I pass my prime,
out of my sight
this whole earth will fade sometime
as my last energies past and I go into the night,

the things that I adore
will be swept from me
but then never more
will I dwell in a world of iniquity,

away will be then
this earth, climate, country in 2013.

Submitted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Edited: Thursday, June 13, 2013

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