Debut Ekphrastic collaboration with South African Illustrator DAVID GRIESSEL

Deirfgeis – Veteran of a Thousand Gusts

(Originally published in Duanne’s PoeTree

Photo Credit © David Griessel


Legend of Siegfried – His name has been whispered by legions of Bloekomboom
trees from eons ago, their decaying poisoned roots now withered, still hold untold
secrets of marauding existential battles fought by desperate tserof creatures to prevent
an ancient dark force to own their very essence. Desperate for a brave warrior to secure
their lineage they turned to a wise oracle named Eniamrahc, she who dwelled in the misty
woods of Fluweeltjie high above the peaks of the Drakensberg mountains, there to use her
ancient mystic kruie to create a bloekomboom leaf defender, a magical warrior who would
rid their enchanted forests from total annihilation and certain eternal damnation.
His name was Siegfried, the youngest leaf of the oldest bloekomboom in the kingdom of Belhar
who chose him as their elected liberator, as Siegfried’s veins held the secret to their liberated

The Oracle – The revered Eniamrahc renamed him Deirfgeis, whose sole mission was to calm a
thousand gusts from ripping out vast swathes of generations of royal bloekomboom trees, as
well as their denneboom and jakaranda cousins whose deep roots have already been poisoned
by the unknown invisible dark entity who seem to know the many secrets of the kingdom
of Belhar. She offered him dust of boegoe, breath of knoffel, thorns of bitterbessie, armour of
okkerneut and finally the oldest wynstok vine staff retrieved from deep within the ancient
kangogrotte caves, where many of Deirfgeis’ relations have endured countless senseless battles
to protect the source of their longevity but many have been swept away by a thousand gusts
sent to rip them from their central root system by he who is only known as the Gamdroela, a
jealous broken desperate creature determined to ascend to the ancient throne of Belhar.
Only Deirfgeis could now attempt to bring honour to his father, Sekueb Nodmai ruler of the
most powerful bloekomboom army and journey to the dreaded valley of Vygieskraal, there to
finally stop a thousand gusts from ending his bloodline – He could not turn back now.


Battle for Vygieskraal – The bleskop aasvoëls first saw him on the horizon at the edge of
the Vygieskraal sourlands, battered windswept and fatigued. It was his wandelstok that
convinced them that this was the one who the pine tree defectors whispered about across the
slopes of the Sederberg mountains. These vultures have roamed the darkened skies in service
of their master, whose very existence was fueled for this epic moment, the arrival of the
youngest leaf of Sekueb Nodmai, ruler of the mighty legendary bloekomboom tree army with
whom he shares a secret bloodline yet to be revealed and his tainted inheritance royally sealed.
As his aerial spies reported on the expected arrival, the Gamdroela released the first wave of
swirling gusts to challenge the young Deirfgeis and determine his weakness on this existential
consequential revelatory doomed quest for he is surely a welcome fragile guest. The time has
come for permanent deletion necessary annihilation, long overdue cessation – This
bloekomboom savior will never return victorious as the force of a thousand gusts will end him
into fine windswept dust his final crush nothing can stop this…

My Name is Deirfgeis – The first spiral onslaught nearly tore through him although his
mystical veneer suffered some perforation caused by fiery darts pummeled by a thousand gusts
from subterranean volcanic ash – It did not deter this determined princely warrior who knew
that this final moment would seal his foretold future and overthrow a lonely broken homeless
nationless doomed creature. As knife edge grass blades briefly pierced his enhanced armoured
body and more gusts attempted to end his victorious quest, Deirfgeis noticed a dark almost
familiar shadow descend from a rocky outcrop above him. Elongated burnt branches attempted
to sweep him up into a rush of air whilst an ominous voice whispered, “ You will never return to
ascend your promised throne, for I am Gamdroela the eldest heir to the kingdom of Belhar and
the true annointed leader of our father’s mighty bloekomboom tree army. I have been
banished neglected forgotten but I will end you here, now!” As he said this, Deirfgeis reached
into his okkerneut arsenal on his back and as he moved forward whilst holding up the powerful
ancient vine wandelstok staff given to him by Eniamrahc, he uttered these words as he threw
the contents of his herbal weaponry towards the Gamdroela, “Our battle has been foretold
heed to my wandelstok and submit to the will of our father, king of a formidable bloekomboom
army – Your selfish twisted intentions were born from your poisoned mind denying your true
heritage submit to me and taste once again peaceful reverie but I warn you, defy me and you
will surely witness my annointed herbal armory designed to pulverize you in an instant but if
you appear hesitant I might rescind for I am your executor and your saviour – I am your end and
your beginning –

My name is Deirfgeis, veteran of a thousand gusts…


© Don Beukes




Photo Edit ©

Artist Bio

David Griessel was born and raised in Bloemfontein. He finished his BA in Fine Arts at the University of The Free State in 2012. He has since been a full time artist and fine arts illustrator. In 2015 he relocated to Cape Town, where he currently lives and regularly exhibits.  



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