A network of stone-architecture,
A home for all who journeyed on,
In place and time;
Those who share their rites of passage with their ancestors;
Old salts and young ones too.
Whoever comes to this human island to rest,
Has come to the rightful love-nest.
Peacemakers and peace takers all alike.
This neglected parch of land looks indignant.
'Tis like a strange planet in its art-form.
But a powerful monument;
A Mecca of unrecorded speeches,
A vintage point of cultural solidarity.
And a symbol of the lost,
But a divine spark of men and women.
Some stories sink slowly into the ground,
Yet they are a lifetime for generations.
Those that are still shining,
And, perhaps being polished by little pockets.
This unchecked mountain of bygone splendour,
Is a reflection,
Of all human hostility exposed,
A wasted dedication to Great Characters.
As well as those who conspire to crash others,
Although they are gone.
A memory of part of them is with us.
For life is expressed in the heat of their silence.
l This poem, by Makisi Max Marhanele, is aptly titled An African Graveyard. His poem is one of many honoured by the South African Literary Awards. - Victor Mecoamere