High up on Ou Kaapse Weg where the wind of change blows I spy a provocative sight below, a bitter sweet location: opposite Pollsmoor lies Steenberg Estate two cultures, lives and fates, one of golf and green, the other concrete and grey. My eye wanders to the dusty east of the flats, the mythologised beast, where imagination grows as the detail fades, lives invisible in the distant haze.
Hugging mountains regal, crowned with cloud and blue skies unblemished by doubt, the suburbs, oozing purse power and grapes that rarely turn sour, barely feel howls of a gale above barely know Khayelitsha’s love, detached from the festering rage. Despite the threat of change the larnies look anything but pale as much as they might shout and rail too snug, too close to the past to feel cold too convinced by their story to be told.
Steenberg so close to the barbed life suburbs so far from the flats’ strife yet Polls apart, moor different than a common country: glamour mixed with grime, pleasure with poverty not aligned rands with ruin as neighbours: golfers doing the inmates no favours labouring the fairways as they labour the years the years observing snail change, as platitudes try to hide the fears.
Indominatable, opaque and alluring, table mountain continues to host the tourists – holds firm against the times and weather holds out against the future being better, idealism now a wind thinned leather. A table on which the privileged feast the tablecloth stained with old wine and cheese, clouds of progress blown down the mountain voices lost in the wind, hopes pinned, on 20 years and counting.
…lying behind the grey walls when the barbiturate haze falls nothing is felt, but buttons and boredom no green or well-trimmed freedom but the 28’s regal, crowned with lost years ’94 onwards political spin-smeared.
High up on Ou Kaapse Weg trees are visibly leaning over. but out on the flats lives are invisibly leaning over. Steenberg trees stand tall, erect golfers swing clean, undaunted. Across the road in another world slowed people are pecked by choices and history haunted.