Cement fair.

Posted: August 13, 2011 in Ramblings of a sober Poet, The Concrete Flower
Tags: , , , , ,

IMAGE © Richard Quaz Roodt

Blossoming asphalt

The children play in the shade of concrete trees.

Growing old

never experience the feeling of grass beneath their feet.

Blindfolded with innocence

They Navigate around cold tributaries , alleys of inner city terror

Oblivious to the gnarling,sleeping beast which is


© Richard Quaz Roodt

Quick note*I worked for a library in the Johannesburg inner city for a few years. During those years I formed a very special bond with the kids that frequented the library and partook in the after school program. I was always(still am) amazed at the ease and carefree attitude they had when walking through the city streets. So I hope it passes as a city poem.

 This poem is submitted for the Poetics prompt a dVersepoets.com and Thursday Think Tank# 77 


  1. paul young says:

    Nice poem. I have never been to Johannesburg, but I trust that your poem captures the feeling of the city.

  2. Heaven says:

    I like it…Great lines here:

    Blindfolded with innocence
    They Navigate around cold tributaries , alleys of inner city terror
    Oblivious to the gnarling,sleeping beast which is

  3. brian says:

    sad reality never seeing grass between ones toes…grew up outside the city and then went in….the sleeping beast is a great touch as the city can certinly be a tough place…i like it…

  4. hedgewitch says:

    I can relate. The city is a hard habitat all its own, and to survive there is to learn the laws of the jungle. i grew up in a similar place, thousands of miles away, but with the same concrete trees. Your economy of words here just adds to the impact.

  5. I also loved the lines Heaven quoted. I used to take inner city youth into the mountains on ecology trips. At night we’d go on stargazing tours and it never failed to amaze me that none of them had ever seen the Milky Way. We would sit together and they would pick out their favorite constellation to remember the experience by, so sad and beautiful at the same time. Thank you.

    • Quaz says:

      Thanks Anna. Yeah, inner city kids miss out on so many things that we often take for granted. Great work though, I’m sure the kids will always remember you for that.

  6. Playing in the shades of concrete trees…so many good images in this poem. Definitely fits the prompt, in my opinion.

  7. Wow, some powerful lines! A great write with much energy.

  8. claudia says:

    blindfolded with innocence and Oblivious to the gnarling, sleeping beast which is Johannesburg..great write – never was there but the company i’m working for has a sales center in joburg – so i know quite a few people who live there and love this city but also know about the danger and grit…great capture with the kids..truly enjoyed this one

  9. Hey Quaz,

    Your experience allows for a tough and authentic portrait – delivered in some pretty cool lines.


  10. tashtoo says:

    Thought this was a passionate write! You can feel the hardness of the truth within the words you pen. An ideal take on the prompt. Much enjoyed…though sad and haunted are what remains. Well done.

  11. Laura Maria says:

    “concrete trees” what an awesome metaphor!

  12. rh8onda says:

    There are so many kinds of cities, aren’t there? They all feel like places the spirit finds difficult, but your kids seem to be at home there. This is a good picture.

  13. Old Ollie says:

    Nice – you have really captured this city.

  14. Interesting glimpse of a city I am never likely to visit in person. Yes, it does it for me as a city poem.

  15. Janet says:

    ‘blindfolded with innocence’! WOW! Profound.

    Thank-you. Well done.

  16. David King says:

    Sad, true – and a biting social comment. There should be more poems like this, I feel.

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