Gert Strydom

Gold Star - 29,802 Points (03 April 1964 / Johannesburg, South Africa)

Amakeia - Poem by Gert Strydom

Protected by the mountains
and covered by bushes
the ruin of an old farmhouse stands,
where the shadow
of the past
still falls heavy and menacing.

Lulling the old black house maid Amakeia
rocked the baby of a white pioneer
softly to sleep
and she was faithful
to her promise,
to try and raise the child.

When she discovered
that danger was sneaking nearer,
she went to hide
in the mountains
with the baby.

As the dark night came
the assegais rattled
against the shields
of a horde of Maxosas,
that jeered like animals
and gathered around the woman and child.

No pleading could stop the blades
where the woman with her body
tried to protect the child
and the wild savage war gang,
speared the woman and child
again and again.

When the winter wind cries in the Amatola cliffs
no devil can still hide there
and the song
of the old woman
cuts right trough marrow and bone,
while she sings
for the child to be silent
and the murder of woman and child
still hits right through
a nation of savages.

[Reference: Amakeia by A.G. Visser. An incident during 1834 war. Assegai = A spear.]


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Poem Submitted: Monday, January 25, 2010



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