South Africa 2015

Sea View Road
The moon’s reflection marks a path that
leads to the edge of the world.
The freighter’s lamps outline its form, which
dominates the view.
Its hooter heralds the New Year, while cars that
stream along the coastal road
reply with beeping horns, flashing lights and
beating bass through open windows.
Our balcony swims in mellow wine and words
flow with decreasing sense.
We are a thousand dreams away from
sinking, muddy, shanty towns,
submerged beneath our view.

Helderberg Retirement Village
Seniors sit, their white skin hanging,
a fissured final landscape draping.
All that’s left is endless talking,
only toothless jaws still working,
year by year all muscles weakening
after a long life’s exercising.
White hair suffers weekly perming,
but who’s there now to focus charming?
A tiny group of men, who, smiling,
still plough ladies, when they’re willing.
Most have opted out by dying
before their wives, so they’re enjoying
eternal silence, exempt from grieving,
not trapped for years, their end confronting.

Boulders bomber
Heaven could not be more fair
than this world of penguins, rocks and sea,
With bright blue sky and sizzling sun.
A stunning view, we all say.
Above the verandah a blackbird sits,
smart in all his blackness,
singing and chortling, like a flute.
A lovely song, we all say.
Then splat, her book and clothes
are covered with what’s left
of seeds and berries, worms and snails.
It’s tough to clean a book
and so the stain remains.
Good luck, we all say.

No pot of gold
Their hopes were high, their freedom won.
A rainbow nation, to live as one.
Each colour equal, in every way
In what they could both do and say,
In what they could achieve and earn.
And every time that we return,
The rainbow’s brightened on one side
But somewhere else a hope has died.
From way up North, the migrants came,
Worked hard and got the local blame.
The time bomb ticks and young whites go,
And money keeps its outward flow.
The young blacks burn with pride and fury.
The Chinese plan their time of glory.
Fin
Amongst the gently floating weed
a rippling shape disturbs the sea,
in movement of impressive speed,
seeking where the feeding’s free.

A rippling shape disturbs the sea
and now a dark tip emerges,
seeking where the feeding’s free,
yet still it comes, in sudden surges.

And now a dark tip emerges.
It grows much larger, nears the shore,
yet still it comes, in sudden surges.
The watchers now are very sure.

It grows much larger, nears the shore.
Swimmers and surfers leave in haste.
The watchers now are very sure
the shark’s acquired a human taste.

Swimmers and surfers leave in haste.
One leaves the water far too slow.
The shark’s acquired a human taste.
The massive jaws come from below.

One leaves the water far too slow,
Scythed through in an enormous bite.
The massive jaws come from below.
The swimmer’s eyes see only night.

Scythed through in an enormous bite,
in movement of impressive speed.
The swimmer’s eyes see only night,
Amongst the gently floating weed.

Mandela Capture Memorial, Natal 
He dreamt of a rainbow (it’s now mostly black),
a nation where colour wouldn’t stop you being free.
For some he was really a maniac,
who used violence, not words, to keep things on track.
Afrikaners fought hard. They were blind, couldn’t see.
He dreamt of rainbow (it’s now mostly black)
And today no white is safe from attack,
Each house double guarded, still no guarantee.
For some he was really a maniac,
A twister of words, a political quack,
But with life glorified as an internee.
He dreamt of a rainbow (it’s now mostly black).
He played the world stage and he sure had the knack.
His people were left with a poor legacy.
And for some he was really a maniac.
The descent has been quick and there’s no turning back.
The future’s much darker, most seem to agree.
He dreamt of a rainbow (it’s now mostly black),
Yet for some he was only a maniac.
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