Tuesday, 2 May 2017


He stood
beneath the street lamp
in broad day light
jeans, if you could call them that
aged from all wear and no wash, day
after day, to the point where
the jeans - which were
once blue - were as gray as
the dreads atop his head as
the trainers which bled
crusted feet from the sides, as
the oversized utility jersey
he wore.

He talked
in tongues. Sporadic teeth brittle
and gray too -a mad man  -
except he was not mad.
Everyone else was. Everyone
had driven him to this, the
white Range Rover revved passed
and the ghost inside it didn't half
look up to notice either the street
lamp or the thing
beside it.

A man with a face, a
soul, a name - once a child
with love and a tinge of
mischief in his heart.
The ghosts took
it out of him. Killed him
slowly, without the reprieve of
death. Stole his dreams so that
the only dream he had was the
nightmare of living
once he came down from
three days ago's tik.

He may have had a child
or three - two girls and
a boy, but the mother
took them back to the Eastern
Cape where they could have had
a better life - less corrupt she said,  less
of the evil Sattan of this city.
(One wondered if she was referring
to the ghosts, who trolled the
streets opulently - probably not. No-one
saw these ghosts as satanic. Not even
he. He never questioned their existence.)
He listlessly conceded to her choice
one Sunday afternoon, half mumbling
half shouting at her while
foaming at the mouth - knowing he
was unable to stop them from leaving.

He continued his monologue -
no-one listened. Not even the street
lamp, or the gray walls surrounding
the newly laid tennis courts or
the street.

I watched for fifteen minutes, then left.

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