Monday, August 31, 2015

Mother city

(ode to cape town)

Place of slaves, storms, minstrels, frenzied wind
winter is a leprous sky, breaking up and breaking up
into craters swept by rain and slush

White-maned waves of luxury apartments
give way to grains of shacks
the mountain tumbles from its cloudy pelmet
sends wet and cold to villages & towns that fuel the city

Those from umlazi eldos soshanguve wentworth phoenix newbrighton
those who pilgrim seasonally
swear by sacred braai spots
but, these tough days, seasons and people are driven further apart

Off the fish hoek boats, red or blue-veined
the piles of fish arrive
to be slain and trimmed
a wind lurches and guts the tourist dream

In the morning, she lugs the roomservice of empties
the sheets are crumpled, branded
amid smudges and tracks of fitful lusts

A political activist, fresh from exile
clambers up the mountain, a flushed pilgrimage
and from a mountain telescope
he discerns a waterfront, its newness
cleared of local dialects, bergies & salomies

And: the jobless on the sidewalk, multiplying
with the bmws and glitzy stores
will there be enough cars to park storefronts to sleep in
enough small change

for chunks of bread and toasts of cheap wine?

Frank Meintjies

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