Lonely I was when I stood staring at the sky
Had a gun in my hand, was too afraid to cry
Fought bitter battles and never lived to tell
How at the altar of freedom, my body fell
My soul searches for reasons as to why I died
Did I save my people, had I tried?
Do they remember me, my deeds, my name
Are they proud of me or did I bring them shame
My battered body stood testimony to my fate
My heart had stopped in a battle brought about by hate
I had screamed in pain, and shivered with fright
But before I died, I did put up a fight
Remember me, my beloved country
It was I, my men, who brought you victory
I fought to the last bullet in my gun
I was a soldier, I was your son
White paper boat
Her image fled among the trees
his realness to intercept,
some Christmas day! With scenes inept,
beneath dark clouds and deathward's seize.
A mercenary sergeant was
that fought in wars for many years,
ascertained charge to volunteers,
instructing e'er the warfare laws.
The coffee 'pon the mountain glen,
on twilight time of wintertime,
his Christmas warmed (recalled a chime),
the M16 A4's his friend.
A ranger, served elite brigades,
but couldn't tell how life was lost,
his apparition of a ghost,
that fled to slopes and pure cascades.
He just recalled one Winter morn,
received her mail; on streamlet's banks,
next to the seething tracks of tanks,
he read her vows, on paper worn.
He never knew to phrase response,
and also thought she wouldn't wait;
his quantum was devoid of fate,
proscribing stronghold, Christmas' sconce.
On thawed snow-stream her worn mail goes,
white paper boat, comrade and guard,
his stare kept up, he was shot hard,
upon the snow, two qubits froze.
© 11-22-2013, G. Venetopoulos, All Rights Reserved
(Epic, Iambic tetrameter)
Sponsor: Leonora Galinta
Contest Name: CHRISTMAS EPIC POEM
(for definitions, please read the "about the poem" text.)
I do not know?
He received the call in the middle of the night,
be to work by sunrise, you'll be taking a flight.
Go to a land where freedom will rise,
men will stand proud and wipe tears from their eyes.
Suicide bombers for a man who controlled,
brutality to the people, dignity he had stole.
The soldier would travel to a far distant land,
where oil was vass and towns made on sand.
He fought for his country, he life sealed with fate,
his family remembers the call on this date.
It was warm in Sepember, he was out on patrol,
explosives were used and would soon take its toll.
He fought the good fight for freedom was sought,
much food and some water, America brought.
But he would come home boxed with a flag draped on top,
violence was something that he tried to stop.
He left earth the hero, he had fought with much pride,
Joined Jesus in heaven, and walked at his side.
I do not know?
(special thanks to a friend who shared this tribute to Solomon Mahlangu)
Solomon Mahlangu: My Blood will Nourish the Tree that will Bear the Fruits of Freedom:
Solomon Mahlangu was trained as an MK soldier with a view to later rejoining the struggle in the country.
He left South Africa after the Soweto Uprising of 1976 when he was 19 years old, and was later chosen to be part of an elite force to return to South Africa to carry out a mission commemorating the June 16th 1976 Soweto student uprising.
After entering South Africa through Swaziland and meeting his fellow comrades in Duduza, on the East Rand (east of Johannesburg), they were accosted by the police in Goch Street in Johannesburg.
In the ensuing gun battle two civilians were killed and two were injured, and Mahlangu and Motloung were captured while acting as decoys so that the other comrade could go and report to the MK leadership.
Motloung was brutally assaulted by the police to a point that he suffered brain damage and was unfit to stand trial, resulting in Mahlangu facing trial alone.
He was charged with two counts of murder and several charges under the Terrorism Act, to which he pleaded not guilty.
Though the judge accepted that Motloung was responsible for the killings, common purpose was argued and Mahlangu was found guilty on two counts of murder and other charges under the Terrorism Act.
On 15 June 1978 Solomon Mahlangu was refused leave to appeal his sentence by the Rand Supreme Court, and on 24 July 1978 he was refused again in the Bloemfontein Appeal Court.
Although various governments, the United Nations, International Organizations, groups and prominent individuals attempted to intercede on his behalf, Mahlangu awaited his execution in Pretoria Central Prison, and was hanged on 6 April 1979.
His hanging provoked international protest and condemnation of South Africa and Apartheid.
In fear of crowd reaction at the funeral the police decided to bury Mahlangu in Atteridgeville in Pretoria.
On 6 April 1993 he was re-interred at the Mamelodi Cemetery, where a plaque states his last words:
‘My blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom.
Tell my people that I love them.
They must continue the fight.’
Mahlangu died for a cause!
The Struggle Continues…
(special thanks to a friend who shared this tribute to Solomon Mahlangu)
The blade is frozen - feels like ice,
arcane the skies of winter's war,
'the Valkyries' bold entice
today to fight alongside Thor.
This great of days is best to die,
the snow, white shroud, persists around
to slowly muffle his war cry,
on skyward Kingdom he'll be crowned.
© G. V. 07-27-2013
In summertime, the ivy climbs,
and hides the castle wall.
The king dreams of late,
that the sea is so great,
and yet - his boat is so small.
As swift as a fox and
dark as a raven on wing,
seven hundred soldiers march
into the valley of the king.
Long overdue, a battle ensues
flanking the powers that be.
Children cry, and good men die,
the monarch is now on his knee…
Soon the horsemen alone
try to maintain the throne.
But the long way around
is the shortest way home.
The evening is filled
with chaos and smoke,
and the kingdom is
stunned by it all…
Soon the sun will go down,
and in spite of his crown,
the king will undoubtedly fall…
His rival’s strength
by a king overtaken,
his life is now but a pawn.
His authority lifted,
the power has shifted –
an era of glory is gone…
Copyright © 2013
She stands on threshold, him to wait
the seasons pass, it was her Spring,
his smile did crown the Hills of late,
war to confront his Heaven's gate,
benign her face his heart will sting,
her thought's retention, years to cling,
dark angels drift above his fate,
beyond the war and his gun-sling.
Upon the golden cross she wore,
he made peak winds their route to stray,
above his land the rain streams fore,
the rivulets flow down the shore,
chrysanthemums their blooming sway,
the raindrops fall and dance and fray,
The skies wash up red fountain's gore,
Her verses rhyme and skyward pray.
An old man looking out his door,
gaze fixed on a distant shore,
reminiscing to a time, not of happiness,
or, the prospect of a bright future,
to when he was sick to his very core,
to when as a youth, he went to war
A time before infallibility had meaning,
patriotism and bravado the craze,
the future was still unknown,
vigor for life at its all time high,
a time for romance, partying, buying,
no thought of pain, deformity, dying
Too young to understand or question,
ship to foreign shore, medals abound,
will impress the girls next time in town,
sacrifice not temporary,
a legacy etched into a wall, few will remember,
flesh shredded, burned, torn,
A time, when he willingly went to war,
will happen no more,
all lost in youth, now unrelenting,
no blind obedience,
long life, his number one ambition
As he turns back from the door,
he thinks of the youth,
here now, soon no more,
lessons never learned,
the call to war,
to common the roar,
complacency the mood,
another generation removed
The old man agonizes
over what was originally not known,
war is preventable,
life too precious to waste,
the solution simple,
his vision, maybe too late
Send old men to the front to fight,
arthritis, heart disease, poor eyesight,
let the youth enjoy their life,
his near over, its only right
Send old men, to the front, to fight
ask them to give up their life,
patriotism and bravado, still alive,
will and desire would not last the night,
old men do not rush to death in their twilight,
failure inevitable, the old man smiles,
knows he's right
Wars not possible,
if old men, are sent to fight
She's highly sophisticated and full of undefiled wisdom
Yet a crowned Duchess in a paradise kingdom
Quite a beautiful angel flying with black wings
Covered in gold jewelry and precious things
She dresses like the women of ancient Egyptian class
Her wealth is generous and her money grows like grass
She loves orange scented candles with dark room flame
She rules thirty legions of soldiers and Bune is her name
Her comely warrior voice can wake and relocate the dead
Her armies of soldiers gather around the cemetery
She is brave and deserves a princessly crown on her head
Her facility of speech and flair for words is legendary
A beautiful queen to be treated with respect and honor
Instead of blasphemy,wanton abuse and fictional horror
As you ended our video call,
You suited up,
Just another day in that god forsaken place,
As soon as you stepped off the plane it felt like being in an oven.
What did you expect.
The boys and you all load up into the Humvee and take off with the rest of the Caravan.
Just another day.
Just another day…
There wasn’t supposed to be an explosion.
There weren’t supposed to be screams.
There wasn’t supposed to be any blood shed.
It was supposed to be just another day.
But all of that did happen.
And you were taken away from me and Mom and Dad and our little sister,
In an instant.
You were supposed to come home.
We were supposed to celebrate your birthday together,
Our sister baked you a cake for when you came home.
But… now you can’t,
And you won’t,
Because you’re gone.
And you can’t ever come back.
But know that we love you,
Know that I love you,
Know that I loved you, My Brother.
Most Importantly know that we miss you,
every waking moment.
Because you’re gone,
And we’ll never see you again.
Did I tell you Mom and Dad still pay your phone bill?
So that we can hear your voice on your voicemail recording when we miss you.