Red roof tops absorb long wave radiation
The chimney smog marries the low clouds
Of increasing heavy traffic and haze of garbage fires
The neighbourhood’s listening to the world
Through satellite dishes like the houses have ears,
But what are they listening to?
The potholes feel like exploding landmines
As vehicles prefer to detour onto the pavements
People stroll in the middle of the streets
While children play soccer and drive bricks
Through new eyes, what I see angers me
Everything still looks the same or worst
The township must be demolished!
It symbolises everything wrong with us,
Stagnation, procrastination and assimilation
The corners are occupied by gangs of nyaope boys
Who have made it their career to stop taxis for people
It is a gaping sore of apartheid’s legacy
That will never heal, not in a century
It is on the periphery, a dumping ground
Not prime land earmarked for human habitation
Through new eyes, we must have a clearer vision
A landscape with a lush vegetation on the horizon
No amount of money can ever buy a slum,
The infrastructure of a safe neighbourhood and good sanitation
When the very same people who seek to improve it,
Don’t reside within it and merely claim it to be their roots
No RDP can ever be a beautiful home, through new eyes
No amount of Shoprite stores will make it look right
No township will ever evolve into a City proper
I repeat, demolish the townships!
this poem appears in our print quarterly number eight, Dear South Africa.
BUY yourself a copy from us or from Book Lover’s Market and at Smashwords.