Gert Strydom

(03 April 1964 / Johannesburg, South Africa)

Under a African sky


The sun burns furious
and the harsh reality,
of a live in the semi desert
of the Kalahari
is set in my mind.

There are some bushes
growing in this arid land,
with red sand
stretching as far
as the eye can see,
but they are riddled
with large white thorns.

A Group of bushmen trackers
are gathered round a fire
and are drinking tea,
near to the huts
where they live.

It’s time to go and we set out
into the bush,
with two trackers
running in the lead.

One is carrying my R5 rifle
and we follow
in a fighting formation,
with armoured fighting vehicles
and armoured cars.

The LMG becomes heavy
in my hands
and sweat are running
down my cheeks.

Every hour or so
the trackers are changed
and we keep following the tracks,
for hours without end
and then reality is frozen.

Rpg-7 rockets whistle past
and the sound of enemy
AK-47 rifles and mortars,
are almost everywhere.

We return fire at dark dots
and every moving thing
becomes prostrate
and the dead enemy are gathered
and I feel like puking;
and some troops are smoking
and it’s just another day
under a African sky.

[LMG=> Light Machine Gun]

Submitted: Tuesday, June 02, 2009

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