View the glass case,

of doughnuts and baguettes.

Behind the cigarettes,

of my father’s front store,

stood a newsstand,

with two comic types.

English slim ones

Sunny Story booklets.

American ones piled high.

Captain America on front side.

His round shield, weighing a ton.

Red stripes & stars,

blazing like a sun.

Simple paper pictures

entertain Dad’s sons.

America so far away,

would protect everyone.

One summer’s night,

my brothers walked

to a neighbour’s home.

In their dark room

A celluloid strip

on a turning wheel.

A light shining on the wall,

we saw grenadiers tall

marching past a bus.

Shouting with surprise

we made a fuss.

Being so entertained

We turned the wheel

again and again

Tastes and times change.

Years pass away.

Sadly we say goodbye

to comic sales

in cafes and stores.

Farewell comics

pictures side by side.

Even the classics

read with such pride.

Yesterday is gone.

“Comics wonder”

no longer here.

No simple playground

or carousels

or turn-style fairs.

Then new changes arrived.

Those comic characters

managed to survive.

Cartoonists changed their designs

and made the comic characters

smile and speak.

New techniques

Stereoscopic visions, videos,

ETV home shows

Very virtual reality on lit-up screens.

Where a hero wakes

breathes and inspires.

Moves his limbs

somersaults, jumps up

springs alive,

takes a bow.

His kin shout and sing

And happily join in

Ben Krengel



A capsule of pain and fear − or an airlock

Waiting for travellers to pass through to a place they’re loath to enter?

Are there those among us who care enough to bring them back?

Jew, Muslim, Christian, some brought low by illness,

Or worse, by bullet, knife or car,

Victims of those weaned on hatred,

Bullied by brutes bereft of − bankrupt of − compassion.

Across the way in a darkened room,

A man struggles to bring his pulse down and his blood pressure up.

A woman whose teary eyes still hold the captured images of visitors,

Lies dying of the illness of old age, an oxygen feed clamped firmly

To her fine Semitic face.

Down the line of serried beds a man cries out incoherently −

It is a high-pitched supplication of dread, pain and pleading. Is he talking to God?

Monitors, the Argus-eyed guardians for the physicians,

Blink codes and messages to those trained to read them.

Through all this, doctors and nursing staff

Meander among the beds performing minor miracles,

Like a team of lifeguards constantly on duty

Ready to pluck a sinking life from the jaws of eternity.

They fight the battle and mostly win,

But there is no triumphant parade with flags waving,

And boastful thumbs stuck in lapels.

There is no time for that − a new patient is wheeled in from OR.

There are lines to set and veins to pierce,

And all focus is on the never-ending stream of humanity

On the road to recovery, if not survival.


Rodney Mazinter

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​Sentencing of Letsoalo sets important precedent. ​

Sentencing of Letsoalo sets important precedent.

Today, the Randburg Magistrates Court sentenced Matome Letsoalo to three years imprisonment, suspended for five years, for threatening and antisemitic tweets that he posted in June 2018. This follows Letsoalo’s pleading guilty last Friday to a charge of crimen injuria lodged by the SA Jewish Board of Deputies SAJBD).