A wasteland mourns in silence,

her quiet grieving interrupted only

by the busyness of chirping birds

and the continuous sound of distant traffic.

A sense of loss still haunts her vacant grounds;

she longs for the community

and the vibrancy of its life

she had sustained for so long


A brutal scourging of her landscape has left her violated,

her neighborhoods reduced to dust and rubble

and her land has become a  barren waste.

Now weeds, shrubs and bushes flourish,

a blatant exploitation of  her vulnerability,

yet their insatiable conquest

for gain and new territory

cannot conceal the evidence of  her once famous legacy


The remnants of paving, pot-holed streets and lanes remain

barely visible, their identities long ago discarded,

though lamentably reminiscent

in the familiar names of the far flung township ghettos


Streets once boasted market stalls

displayed with fruit and veg,

freshly caught fish and fragrant flowers

and traders who beckoned all to spend,

transacting more than just the bargained deal


Spontaneous talk and humorous sharing

of the latest local news exploding into laughter

echoes off cracked walls with peeling paint,

and children’s voices, at their play in dimly sunlit alleyways.


Then all became this silence,

a quiet grieving interrupted only by the busyness of chirping birds

and the continuous sound of distant traffic.


Still amidst a frenzied invasion of weeds, shrubs and bushes,

the pain and precious memories linger,

confined to photographs and a generation now passing on;

the snapshots of moments in time

old and fading in worn out albums with its pages torn.

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About Nathan Festus

Nathan Arthur Festus was born in 1965 in Cape Town. Raised in Cape Town by his parents, Nathan has two sisters and grew up in a society separated along racial lines. He has a love for true life and science fiction movies and a deep interest in biblical prophecy. Nathan enjoys good traditional Cape Town food as well as cooking. His writing is inspired by his own life journey; he is also moved by the suppression of free expression and is opposed to bullying in any form. Nathan holds the conviction that the world will one day be a better place to live in. Contributing author to the Life Righting Collective's This is how it is anthology.