Sonnets Of The Stone Ruins


Long ago a mighty hunter
sailed on the river to look for medicine
and his canoe made from tree
was swept along with uprooted trees
by a river in flood.

He lost control over the boat
and in the distance
a thundering sound
hanged in the air
mighty smoke
rose ghostly out of the water
in a fine spray
and he could hear tons of water
flowing down a cataract.


While the canoe was spinning round
and round
he tied a long thin strong thong
to a arrow
and with all the power in his strong arms
he draws the bow’s string and set his aim
on a massive tree
standing on the shore.

The arrow caught speed
and hanged a moment in the grey air
before it hit the tree with great force
and the thong spanned stiff
and his arms with desperate power
overcame the river.


He passed the remains
of ancient mines
and villages declining
and overgrown by bushes
and suddenly there were rock walls and towers
and branches creeping
into the walls.

Cautiously he sneaked nearer
and shot a arrow through a spitting cobra
and suddenly a figure appeared behind a bush,
but before his rock could hit it
it disappeared into the nought
and against a niche another figure stared
deep into his thoughts


When he stormed with assegai in his hand
onto that figure
it disappeared around a corner
into a dark passageway
and all at once
there was an animal with glowing eyes
breathing heavily in the dark in front of him
and he lifted his shield against it
And took a firm grip on the back of the spear.

With rotting breath and cruel anger
a lion leaped with stretched out claws
growling onto him,
but he was shield somewhat
While the assegai went deep past the animal’s ribs.


While the lion died in anger
the claws ripped deep into the hunter’s shoulder
and his sharp knife
slashed time after time
through the animal’s heart
and covered in blood
he came out
from under weight of the dead lion.

In horror he saw
the lion changing slowly
from animal to human
with a spear through his ribs
and a lion skin
around his shoulders.


He was still busy
dragging the lion skin from the killed man
and felt the soft fur
in his hands,
when to more lions
in anger leaped on him.

It was too much for him
since both knife and spear
still wedged into the dead man
and with the fighting
he had lost
his bow and arrows
and he was cornered
by lions ripping from both sides.



It is told
than when the air is open
and the moon takes long to rise
a mighty hunter appears
with the rain gods
where they bash their shields
and spears against each other
and that the air
is now his hunting ground

You can see stripes of thunder
when his arrows with thongs
dropp down to earth,
before the new season’s
first raindrops fall.

[Reference: With thanks to “The ivory trail” by T.V. Bulpin that gave me the idea of this poem.]

by Gert Strydom

Comments (0)

There is no comment submitted by members.