Wednesday, July 11, 2012




There's something about a curve
That's strangely satisfying.
It gives an air of elegance
Though, seemingly, not trying.
A straight line is so formal,
It marches from A to B,
A straight line is unbending,
Showing masculinity.
But a curve is very lady-like,
Of that there is no doubt.
Softness, motherhood and warmth....
That's what a curve's about.


It's correct name is Johannesburg but folk don't use that much;
The shortened form is the favourite; it adds a local touch.
I knew it in my twenties, when I was living further North
And, on rare occasions, we would happen to sally forth,
Cross the wide Limpopo and head for the big city,
Always an exciting place although it wasn't pretty.
Driving to Mozambique one time I went into a bar,
Escorted by a boy-friend. It was too rough by far.
Suddenly a fight broke out and the local police arrived.
We left rather hurriedly, glad that we'd survived!
For Jo'burg had a 'wild-west' feel back in the early days
And that was not conducive to very lingering stays.
Unlike Rhodesia further north, Apartheid was in force
So the Them and Us mentality was obvious, of course.
I've retraced my steps to Jo'burg on holiday since then.
I hoped to see equality among White and Coloured men,
But, alas, things don't seem changed completely, though the city's rich.
White mens' homes and Black mens' homes; an easy 'which is which?'
Many White men live in mansions, but they're barbed-wired and they're fenced,
And a feeling of undercurrent is very quickly sensed.
While the slums, though much improved, are still a miserable blot,
And many local Africans bemoan their present lot.
The influx from Zimbabwe (the Rhodesia I once knew)
Has proved an awful problem; people don't know what to do.
The 'City of Gold' it once was called, the product of the mines
But the gold is rather tarnished. Let's hope, one day, it shines.
The city as I knew it.

Jo'burg in the 1950s.

A gold-mine.
The dreadful massacre associated with the city.
'European' security fencing.
Present-day slums.
A big modern city.

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