My D'Urban

A Poem Inspired by Life in Durban, South Africa, Land of the Zulus: When Will We Be Equal and Why Is There Such A Chasm Between Us?

Torn soles and ragged cloth

Pleading eyes and cupped palms

“The savages,” whispers a passerby

Yesterday’s news, tossed upon the floor

Torn, abused, discarded

Sewerage seeping from stained gutters

Today’s headlines, Killed, Slaughtered, Stolen

Traffic zooms by. Ghettos blast.

Cardboard boxes line the hard sidewalks

I pass the many market tables with

Bright plastic gods and fruit pyramids

Decor a la spray-painted street walls

To the shrills of an old three stringed guitar

A blind man sings O Sorrow My Africa....

And turn a corner

A few paces further

To be courted by bright lights and window signs

Laughter and bustle

Luminous doorways fronted by swept streets

Tall shiny buildings

Pink and white soft serve ice cream

Yet another block and it's

Shattered crystal

A pool of sticky urine down a wall

A scarlet stain on a park bench

Near a smiling, staring policeman

The wind shifts an airborne newspaper

Into a stained gutter

Torn, abused, discarded.

Audio adaptation of this poem is available at

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Comments 4 comments

SaMcNutt profile image

SaMcNutt 6 years ago from Englewood, CO

reminds me of the movie Saraphina. That's what I have to compare it too, but I remember the contrast in the news when South Africa had elections in 1994. I feel that complexity in this poem, though more distant from that time.

surfeitt profile image

surfeitt 6 years ago Author

Thanks for your feedback SaMcNutt - it means a lot to me because this poem, and this subject too, is so close to my heart. Your sensitivity to the issue is appreciated. Surfeitt

CMCastro profile image

CMCastro 6 years ago from Baltimore,MD USA

Oh, you've painted with words such a vivid picture. Thanks.

surfeitt profile image

surfeitt 6 years ago Author

Thanks CMCastro - I appreciate feedback from a writer I admire. Surfeitt

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