Gert Strydom

Gold Star - 18,140 Points (03 April 1964 / Johannesburg, South Africa)

At Springs - Poem by Gert Strydom

I am trying to get a job
at Springs
and wonder why people live here
away from Johannesburg
and Pretoria

and what fountains
spring out at this place
and all that I find
is rotten smells
rising from the Blesbok river
where sewerage is flowing in freely.

The town lies stretched out
up to Brakpan
and has two internet cafés
that I know about
and a computer shop
where the people
know less about computers than I

and my animals
may not come into the house
and I must explain why
they are barking at the gate.

One of my cats
Lurks in the a storm water drain
against the road

and I am tired and fed up
with lifting concrete blocks
with a crowbar
to free the Persian cat
on his cries for help.

The mines are stripped bare
and at places there are pans
with poison
that has accumulated there for years

and at times there are friendly neighbours
with whom I talk
and virtually every second day
the weather is overcast
with falling rain
and thunderbolts
hitting outside around my animals

but mother’s garden
is a real idyllic spot
with hollyhocks bursting out pink
over fallen trees
in a rock garden,

geraniums of all colours
growing very rampant,
flame lilies blooming orange,
morning glories coming up anywhere
and a much larger vegetable garden
than I could plant in Pretoria

and over the yard
the Creator spreads His hand
and there are new flowers
sprouting almost every day

and I am astonished
at how easy
things grow here
and how high
the plants are suddenly

and the yard is so big
that the animals
almost play in a field
and it’s actually past lovely
to stay for a time
with my mother
as she loves me very much.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010



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