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Below are poems written by poet Ken Carlson. Click the Next or Previous links below the poem to navigate between poems. Remember, Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth. Thank you.

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One day in Mitchels plain

Guns pop off
Just another day in the cape flats
Bodies getting dropped off
The resounding sounds of AK47s blast through the night
Mothers hold their children tight 
Making sure they see tomorrow
Fathers thank their gods 
As they look into their almost empty bottles  
To drown their sorrows
Another nights “lucky” draw
Leaving innocence lost

In this place you have one rule to follow
That is keep praying to see the sun tomorrow

But this is not my recollection of Mitchel's plain
Walking through the gallant streets
Kids playing bare feet
Women gossiping on porches
Men whiping their horses
A group of young girls contemplating
Whether to send the text to that guy they have a crush on
As their friends nod in disapproval

Just an ordinary day
Still I was grounded by fear
Protruding through my chest
Walking around heading for an unknown destination
Every stare heart pounding
Casually and constantly looking back with every step
Towards a few glaring stares
Knowing fully well I don’t belong there
Customary of any foreigner in a new environment

Looking ahead
I found my destination
written in bold
THE HEAVEN SHELTER
Almost an irony
Of such circumstance
It was nothing short of pure relief
As I stepped in to the compound
Protruding warms smiles rose to meet me
From the faces of the wondering kids
It was welcoming
It was heaven

A shelter in the midst of dissolution
A significance of hope for few
It reminded me of the words of one of my favourite authors
“Man lives consciously for himself but serves as an unconscious instrument in the achievement of historical, universal human goals”

Mitchel’s Plain could be home.
It is home. If you open your heart to it.

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