poet Gert Strydom

Gert Strydom

Beyond Enemy Lines

Above me there’s an onyx sky
and the tarry night is fading fast
and I hear the roar
of enemy armour
and the crunching of tracks
echoes and sound very
near to me.

An electronic signal rushes
thousands of kilometres far
and goes into a night
filled with bright white stars
like a lighting bolt
falling in a dark black sky
and branching out to where
it has to go
to a place where Jacaranda trees
stand in purple bloom.

I match my wits against my fate
and crawl deeper into cover
of a thorn bush
and gird my soul to face
the enemy in war
and we lay and wait
and there are three of us
against a horde of enemy armour.

The light of dawn is still grey
and they get very near
and it’s a thundering sound
when the first tanks
and armoured cars appear
like hungry dragons
coming to the feast.

I look up in an indigo sky
and eagles and vultures
bend down out of the sun
and descend in deadly haste
transforming into Cheetah
and Mirage fighter jets
and the radio
let me talk to them
and the end of life
and dire chaos
is unleashed unexpectedly.

Only the birds of prey
save me from the hate
of great steel monsters,
that is ready to squash and kill
and missile and rocket arrows
leap descending out of the air
and red and yellow flames appear.

After a while the planes of war
thunder away to the South
and the fire fades
and around us there are
upturned and destroyed wrecks
of man’s war machines
and a slaughtering of humans
and the smell of death
cuts right through my breath,
as if it wants to engulf
and I retch and feel inhuman
and my comrades smile bravely
and say very well done
and around me
all other life is gone,
but for the three of us.

Poem Submitted: Sunday, October 18, 2009

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