Gert Strydom

Gold Star - 26,732 Points (03 April 1964 / Johannesburg, South Africa)

An Elegy To Eugene Terreblance - Poem by Gert Strydom

You are gone without a farewell
and like a great De Wet
or De La Rey
you stood single
for your people
to also have
a place in the sun.

When your men went into Bophuthatswana
there was fear in me
that they wouldn’t be able to bring peace there
and would get death for their trouble.

Time after time I have listened
to your electronic Afrikaans poems
about the field, nature
and God to whom
you bended your knee
and the beauty of it
and your humanity
came to lie in my heart.

I was at Church Square
when you on the day of the covenant
read a piece out of the Bible
and prayed for your country, your people
and that God reach out His hand
against the dark might
that takes their humanity away,

but in your sleep
you were hacked to pieces
with a Panga-blade
and a martyr was made of you.

Let dark Africa rejoice
and declare killers as heroes
and reveal themselves to journalists
and the wide world.

Let people interpret you wrongly
as a bellicose person
that wanted to bring conflict.

I see a honourable man
who wanted to serve his Lord,
who set his people first

and your death plucks through me
and cuts where it hurts most,
as in a way
every Afrikaner is portrayed in you.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 10, 2010

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