Lost City of Gold

Mapungubwe
Rise once more
Up from the south Limpopo shore
Let now your ancient tale be told
Of those who built the Place of Gold

Mapungubwe
On the hill
Your royal graves whisper us still
Of treasures lost and fortunes made
Before your kingdom’s star did fade

Mapungubwe
We can trace
A thousand year old trading base
Exchanging gold and ivory
For spices, silks and rainbow beads

Mapungubwe
Let us sing
The praises of your gilded king
Whose golden rhino, staff and bowl
Your riches to this day extol

Mapungubwe
Formed to be
A civilised society
And guided by a higher fate
Gave birth to this first nation state

Mapungubwe
We proclaim
The untold glories of your name
And to this day your lofty brand
Bestows top honours in this land

Mapungubwe
See it’s true
That from your seed a great tree grew
With sturdy roots and fruits sublime
And branches across space and time

Wayne Visser © 2017

Book

I Am An African: Favourite Africa Poems

This creative collection, now in its 5th edition, brings together Africa poems by Wayne Visser, including the ever popular “I Am An African”, as well as old favourites like “Women of Africa”, “I Know A Place in Africa”, “Prayer for Africa” and “African Dream”. The anthology celebrates the luminous continent and its rainbow people. The updated 5th Edition includes new poems like “Africa Untamed” and “Land of the Sun”. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

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If These Stones Could Whisper

Tribute to Robben Island

If these stones could whisper, what secrets would they tell?
Would it be of aeons past, when all the sky was fiery rain
And lava flowed and rock congealed to sculpt this coastal plain?
Or would they speak of great divide, when land was rent asunder
By tidal waves and raging winds and peals of angry thunder?

If these stones could whisper, what beginnings would they remember?
Would they recall the first cry of Man, still a babe within the cradle
Or the eager infant with bow and arrow, destined to become a fable?
Would they smile at the restless child who set down roots to grow
To write and read, to build and shape, to plant and reap and sow?

If these stones could whisper, what chronicles would they recount?
Would it be the rebellious years, when teen-Man sought to spread his wings
Those tempestuous times of selfish pride, of war and slaves and kings?
Or is the memory still fresh with more recent tragic days
When naïve young adult siblings chose the path of separate ways?

If these stones could whisper, what stories would they share?
Would it be of island tales, of untamed wilds and virgin sand
Of merchants from across the bay who scavenged rocks and mined the land?
What of disfigured outcasts to whom the world was blind
Quarantined for their unsightliness, disowned by their own kind?

If these stones could whisper, what memories would haunt them still?
Would it be of humans in cages, accused of heinous crime
Or justice vigilantes condemned to blinding quarries of lime?
How painful the sight of jailors with minds under lock and key?
How hopeful the salve of forgiveness, the long walk to make them free?

If these stones could whisper, what triumph would they exclaim?
Would it be of a brand new dawn, when the island became a bridge
A sanctuary, a learning place, for the world an inspiring image?
The stones echo with silence, mute with wisdom that time beget
But if these stones could whisper, they’d say: always forgive, never forget

Wayne Visser © 2017

Book

I Am An African: Favourite Africa Poems

This creative collection, now in its 5th edition, brings together Africa poems by Wayne Visser, including the ever popular “I Am An African”, as well as old favourites like “Women of Africa”, “I Know A Place in Africa”, “Prayer for Africa” and “African Dream”. The anthology celebrates the luminous continent and its rainbow people. The updated 5th Edition includes new poems like “Africa Untamed” and “Land of the Sun”. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

Share

Wild Africa

I. Awareness

Africa wakes up, hungry
She prowls in packs and preys
She wakes up wild and wary
And hides in herds to graze

Lurking low, Africa waits
She leaps out with surprise
She sets her traps for bait
And casts her dewy eyes

Africa takes off, soaring
She rides on wings and prayer
She tweets and hoots, imploring
And swoops down from the air

Lying still, Africa blinks
She twitches in her manger
She shuts one eye and thinks
She listens out for danger

II. Renewal

Baking sun and bright blue skies
Tinder sparks to flame
Blazing grass and fearful eyes
Of creatures wild and tame

Thunderbolts and flashing cloud
Torrential rain and flood
Quenching pools and splashing shroud
Roll-playing in the mud

Pitter-drops and patter-sounds
Amidst the mist and showers
Blossom-bursts and splatter-grounds
All painted bright with flowers

Mating calls in season’s heat
New playgrounds for the young
Rhyming with new reason’s beat
Fun frolics in the sun

III. Diversity

Africa, stretching far and wide
Herds migrate with season’s tide
Hippos snort, crocs lie in wait
Most survive, some meet their fate

Africa, living wild and free
Monkeys swing from tree to tree
Warthogs squeal and lions roar
Dolphins leap and eagles soar

Africa, teeming great and small
Lank giraffes and bugs that crawl
Zebras mix with wildebeest
Hyenas laugh while vultures feast

Africa, joining earth and sky
Gorillas nest and springboks fly
Elephants rumble, wise as sages
Life joins life across the ages

IV. Freedom

Rising from the dusty plain
With hope in every burst of rain
This land of everlasting strife
This Africa, our source of life

Breaking out of rusty chains
With wildness flowing in her veins
This land where all creation roam
This Africa, our common home

Reaching out across the years
With echoed genes and veils of tears
This land of skulls and mystery
This Africa, our history

Forever feral, never tamed
With restless destiny unnamed
This land of the eternal child
This Africa, forever wild

Wayne Visser © 2017

Book

I Am An African: Favourite Africa Poems

This creative collection, now in its 5th edition, brings together Africa poems by Wayne Visser, including the ever popular “I Am An African”, as well as old favourites like “Women of Africa”, “I Know A Place in Africa”, “Prayer for Africa” and “African Dream”. The anthology celebrates the luminous continent and its rainbow people. The updated 5th Edition includes new poems like “Africa Untamed” and “Land of the Sun”. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

Share

Africa

Gondwana
Born of Pangaea
When separation first started
Like a unicell dividing

Africa
Spilt from India
And from America parted
Cut adrift and subsiding

Birthplace
Of all humankind
Whose seed has been scattered
Far from the Ma tree

Darkspace
That light left behind
From progress that mattered
In the quest to be free

Battleground
Of tribe against tribe
Whose rivers of tears
Still bloodstain the sand

Whispersound
Of fate’s changing tide
As hope’s rising years
Unify this great land

Wayne Visser © 2017

Book

I Am An African: Favourite Africa Poems

This creative collection, now in its 5th edition, brings together Africa poems by Wayne Visser, including the ever popular “I Am An African”, as well as old favourites like “Women of Africa”, “I Know A Place in Africa”, “Prayer for Africa” and “African Dream”. The anthology celebrates the luminous continent and its rainbow people. The updated 5th Edition includes new poems like “Africa Untamed” and “Land of the Sun”. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

Share

I Am An African

I am an African
Not because I was born there
But because my heart beats with Africa’s
I am an African
Not because my skin is black
But because my mind is engaged by Africa
I am an African
Not because I live on its soil
But because my soul is at home in Africa

When Africa weeps for her children
My cheeks are stained with tears
When Africa honours her elders
My head is bowed in respect
When Africa mourns for her victims
My hands are joined in prayer
When Africa celebrates her triumphs
My feet are alive with dancing

I am an African
For her blue skies take my breath away
And my hope for the future is bright
I am an African
For her people greet me as family
And teach me the meaning of community
I am an African
For her wildness quenches my spirit
And brings me closer to the source of life

When the music of Africa beats in the wind
My blood pulses to its rhythm
And I become the essence of sound
When the colours of Africa dazzle in the sun
My senses drink in its rainbow
And I become the palette of nature
When the stories of Africa echo round the fire
My feet walk in its pathways
And I become the footprints of history

I am an African
Because she is the cradle of our birth
And nurtures an ancient wisdom
I am an African
Because she lives in the world’s shadow
And bursts with a radiant luminosity
I am an African
Because she is the land of tomorrow
And I recognise her gifts as sacred

Wayne Visser © 2005

Videos

Words and Music

Words of the poem, set to music by Hans Zimmer from The Power of One

Author Reading

The poem read by the author

Literacy Project

Kids from Upendo Middle Primary School in Usa River Tanzania read the poem. Upendo Middle Primary recently received 60 Kindle E-readers as Worldreader’s first e-reader project in Tanzania. A partnership between AfricAid and Thanks Be to God Foundation helped make this project a success.

Book

I Am An African: Favourite Africa Poems

This creative collection, now in its 5th edition, brings together Africa poems by Wayne Visser, including the ever popular “I Am An African”, as well as old favourites like “Women of Africa”, “I Know A Place in Africa”, “Prayer for Africa” and “African Dream”. The anthology celebrates the luminous continent and its rainbow people. The updated 5th Edition includes new poems like “Africa Untamed” and “Land of the Sun”. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

Share