Poems inspired by South Africa

Cato Manor

by Olivia Santarsiero

south africa

Cato Manor homes

speckle the lush,

green mountainside

An iridescent mosaic

whose colorful people and

vibrant voices

paint 

the tile pieces.

Light bounces 

off aluminum roofs.

Kindness bounces 

in each smile,

nod,

wave,

laugh.

Standing alone they seem broken,

not whole,

out of place. 

But together they create

a community so intricate and diverse,

it is art

worth paying for.

Adding value to the green landscape.

 

Standing up high

you can see stories,

lives

struggles

       love.

 

One would be a fool to pity them.

 

I’ll never forget 

the sparkling mosaic

of Cato Manor.

Each tile perfectly

misshapen,

jagged

in the best way.

 

Their stories,

their lives,

their struggles,

their love,

their homes,

their voices.

Everything they touch is art

Simply waiting to be seen worthy

by a powerful eye.

south africa

Durban

by Olivia Santarsiero

south africa

Durban is 

Resilience.

Strength.

Unrest.

Wisdom.




Miraculously,

unjaded,

not falling victim to cynicism.




Young people 

lured into university 

with a promise of

opportunity,

wealth.

Only to leave better educated on Shakespeare,

not their country.




Laughing,

he says with a smile,

“University only teaches you to speak English”

aware of the powerful grip

Eurocentrism still holds on their culture.




Remaining hopeful,

the search for

justice

bubbles and burns

in the hearts of the youth




Thirsty for 

democracy

equality

opportunity.

Not the current

monopoly

inequity

apathy. 

Working to heal wounds

one hundred years deep.




Refusing to look at their past

with anything other than

discontent.




Creating a new

Durban System

built on diversity, 

rejecting exclusivity.




Realizing the last to change

will be things we cannot see;

attitudes,

glances,

mindsets.

Time will mend these as well.




Durban is resilient.

South Africa is resilient.

Resilience is refreshing.



south africa

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