Argief
Tuis /
Home
Briewe /
Letters
Bieg /
Confess
Kennisgewings /
Notices
Skakels /
Links
Boeke /
Books
Onderhoude /
Interviews
Fiksie /
Fiction
PoŽsie /
Poetry
Taaldebat /
Language debate
Opiniestukke /
Essays
Rubrieke /
Columns
Kos & Wyn /
Food & Wine
Film /
Film
Teater /
Theatre
Musiek /
Music
Resensies /
Reviews
Nuus /
News
Feeste /
Festivals
Spesiale projekte /
Special projects
Slypskole /
Workshops
Opvoedkunde /
Education
Artikels /
Features
Geestelike literatuur /
Religious literature
Visueel /
Visual
Reis /
Travel
Expatliteratuur /
Expat literature
Gayliteratuur /
Gay literature
IsiXhosa
IsiZulu
Nederlands /
Dutch
Hygliteratuur /
Erotic literature
Kompetisies /
Competitions
Sport
In Memoriam
Wie is ons? /
More on LitNet
Adverteer op LitNet /
Advertise on LitNet
LitNet is ’n onafhanklike joernaal op die Internet, en word as gesamentlike onderneming deur Ligitprops 3042 BK en Media24 bedryf.

A soldier’s prayer

JL Nel

Life is a gift we receive
but would you believe
it’s also something we give.

Sometimes it’s something we fake
but it’s also something we take.

Sometimes it has a bitter taste
but it’s also something we waste.

I started mine
with hopes of glory and shine.

Then came the Angolan war
and with a bang closed that door — life was precious no more.

At first it’s an encounter you are eager to meet
until your first kill lay lifeless at your feet.

It’s a deed
neither money nor prayer can delete.

Try as you may
the blood on your hands will forever stay.

At first it was not so bad
It was either you or the other lad.

Then came the inevitable
yes, the bodies became uncountable

Not only did the bullets kill a man or three
but also of sleep it robbed thee.

The killing became fun —
and also a part of one
but the price was more than just the sleep that’s gone

To keep ourselves on a high
we had a song, which in itself might have been a lie —
“We had joy we had fun
killing SWAPO in the sun — but now the SWAPO’s have all gone.
Goodbye SWAPO it’s hard to die ...”

There might have been some fun
but of that sleeping was not one.

Yes, the endless dreams — of blood and screams
Yes, the endless crying of the wounded and the dying
Yes, the endless stench of lifeless bodies in a trench
Yes, the endless forms of friend and foe who fall
gave one no fitful sleep at all.

To stay alive was uppermost in my mind
but to pray or not to pray
became the nightmare of my day.

“Thou shall not kill”
the great Book says
but that was not (anymore) my way.

I even killed someone
who didn’t have a gun.

In the bright day of light
I could swear he was ready to fight
but in the sleepless night I knew it wasn’t right —
Up he came with empty hands
and in him I emptied my magazine of Browning brands.

The bullets of lead
ripped through him — from belly to bloodied head.

The ecstasy was great
but the regret came too late

In his hands was nothing — nothing as I’ve just said
but in my heart was pain,
pain for the man that I have just slain.

As a soldier with a trained eye
I marked the place where he was about to die.

The next day
I forced myself to go back to where he lay.

I searched his body, I searched the ground
but not a trace of armourment I found.

Is this murder? Or is this war?
Why, OH GOD, why don’t I believe in this anymore!

So hardened I became — I stripped him of all his belongings
including his being, his life, and his name.

And then I made this shocking revelation
A Bible stained with blood — was this my condemnation?

Thus he was also religious, as I am.
So how could I claim preference over this man?

In him he might have my lead — yes he even might be dead.

Let his soul live forever and a day
and please GOD, take my pain and guilt away.

I have killed this man, or were it ten, in THY Name —
but help my children not to have to do the same.
AMEN


boontoe


© Kopiereg in die ontwerp en inhoud van hierdie webruimte behoort aan LitNet, uitgesluit die kopiereg in bydraes wat berus by die outeurs wat sodanige bydraes verskaf. LitNet streef na die plasing van oorspronklike materiaal en na die oop en onbeperkte uitruil van idees en menings. Die menings van bydraers tot hierdie werftuiste is dus hul eie en weerspieŽl nie noodwendig die mening van die redaksie en bestuur van LitNet nie. LitNet kan ongelukkig ook nie waarborg dat hierdie diens ononderbroke of foutloos sal wees nie en gebruikers wat steun op inligting wat hier verskaf word, doen dit op hul eie risiko. Media24, M-Web, Ligitprops 3042 BK en die bestuur en redaksie van LitNet aanvaar derhalwe geen aanspreeklikheid vir enige regstreekse of onregstreekse verlies of skade wat uit sodanige bydraes of die verskaffing van hierdie diens spruit nie. LitNet is ín onafhanklike joernaal op die Internet, en word as gesamentlike onderneming deur Ligitprops 3042 BK en Media24 bedryf.