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Tuesday, 12 January 2016 15:06


Visions of Sissis and Bhoties fluster my mood
as they almost block my route
while I drive on Golden Highway to Johannesburg

Township beauties in Eldorado’s street
they need to eat - right now - not in a week
for even flavoured condoms do not feed
who can tell which life to live - to live and still stay negative?

I turn and I see Eastgate mall
shop next to shop next to shop, they offer it all
people are lured away from life’s foundations
striving for cash’s alternations

Rich suburbs are home to
fear, that is soaking in from the banned outside

fear, that is not telling black from white
fear, that is public relations for armed response companies
even in hipster’s cafés you can sense nightmare’s breath

Disembarking at the taxi rank
as massiv murmur hits my tattered flank
people preach of a golden future everybody knows it will never exist
this poisonous optimism is one of mzanzis life-sustaining myths

I finally enter the centre, I cross Gandhi Square
I’m an anxious alien - as I am perfectly aware
passing Jeppe Street, no welcoming word can be heard
but then he is spouting off, the Johannesburg nerd

“If only you open your eyes, you will find a lot
open-minded smiles and dignity in this vivid hot spot.
helping hands, high-rises, politics, mind-blowing thunder
in Johannesburg you just can’t stop to wonder.”
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Norbert Herrmann

Norbert Herrmann has been living in Berlin | Germany and Johannesburg | South Africa for several years. He produces audio-podcasts (tuneplaces.com) as well as short short stories.

Website: tuneplaces.com/johannesburg/
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