(03 April 1964 / Johannesburg, South Africa)

Makoemazaan The Waterman

(after A. G. Visser)

When you go to a tranquil silent stream
surrounded by willow tree after willow tree
you are at the place where Makoemazaan does live
and he knows how to thwart adults

but only children younger than ten
can see that sly waterman
where they do follow him when he lures them away
but if you look carefully you may see

something stirring below in the water
when the children with you are feeding the coots
but he will be just right there where you are
and you will not know that he is peeping at them

but when they do disappear they do follow him to below
into the water-world and they are astonished with everything
he does bewitch them; do change into Namlaambo, the yellow and green snake,
and everything down there is different and for children somewhat special

where he shows them age-old secrets,
do take them away to there deep at his palace,
do tell them things about everything that does live in the water,
do constantly make a fuss about every child and praise each one

and they do forget everything down there
as if they do not know about their parents and brothers and sisters,
do constantly want to play games with that evil old snake
and at a time when it fits him he wants to eat every child

but when a mommy cries above the water
he wants to hide the children still deeper away from her,
until a tear of her does drop on the water surface
and it brings a radical change to things there deep in the pool

causing every child to see him for the monster that he is,
it makes him defenceless and wipes out his power,
when out of an overwhelming kind of fear he takes them back
and later about these strange events they do have no knowledge

do want to cling to the pants of their mothers and fathers
and is so weirdly scared of something strange and unpredictable.

[Reference:"Makoemazaan" by A. G. Visser.]

© Gert Strydom

by Gert Strydom

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