From a distance

Down South here
it is quite eerily
quiet up my street

“the world looks blue and green”
sang Bette Midler
“from a distance”

“the snow-capped mountains white
the ocean meets the stream
and the eagle takes to flight”

Here 200 shoppers queue
at a Gauteng taxi rank
regulated transport due
sometime later

(most of them are masked
and keeping their distance
for what it is worth
for the greater patriotic good)

(though elsewhere here
the lockdown is counted down
like it is a celebration of sorts)

From a distance
does it look like
there is harmony

(what with the labelling
of the virus
as the Chinese virus)

From a distance
the world watches
each and the other

(figures are totted up
we gasp as deaths mount
though there are messages
of awareness too)

Is there hope and peace
Is the voice of all heard
from the Delft of Africa
to the Delft of Europe

Will the curve be flattened
Are we doing what it takes

From our distance

Day 1, down Africa South

Normality is the new normal

We live in interesting times
is apparently a Chinese curse
(in the modern era we blame
as was done in the past
the Red Peril for our woes)

Normality is the new normal
an SAFM radio presenter concludes
somewhat in frustration
at the shrugging-shoulders
of yet another salaried-one

(he on lockdown
systems offline
queue until
a new day
labours forth)

this while
The Other
is sardined
and enshacked
in poor housing

shackled too
by history/herstory
post-apartheid but
not yet post-colonial

(obey the rules
though they are still
not of your own making)

Normality is the new normal

The afternoon of Day 1 it is, Down Africa South.