An African Graveyard a fine literary gem

A network of stone-architecture,

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