Eyona indala *

We intrude, of course, as we always do.
But we’re accepted here, invisible,
sitting downwind in the Land Rover
and sharing the sun’s drumcrush with five great
grey boulders whose heads are sculpted in rock
like presidents. It is hot, growing hotter,
this time-slip into African prehistory,
a long migration from the angry snarl of freeways.

When at last they turn to the shade of thicket,
through knives of acacia thorn, they make no sound,
none at all, these giants of the moon.
Their silence is the phantom of a used-to-be
ancient presence, their honouring of soul.

Harry Owen

* Eyona indala: isiXhosa – ancestor, oldest of the old