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An African Legend: White Lions & Leopards

1st Prize:

Faded Hieroglyphs by Zayra Yves

"This poem is a surreal and exceptionally powerful poem that explores tribal and ancestral belief systems, and highlights the respect and awe that lions once had. Congratulations Zayra, for this and the other poems you entered they were all wonderful to read." Michelle Stewart & Judges



Faded Hieroglyphs


There are eternal images somewhere I have been in my dreams.

I long to return to the sands where lions roam,

sit as sun statues, and roar in the night winds.


I have heard them singing of golden rings,

of fire in my belly, while ashes and petals

blew in the alleys with yesterday's news.


Red with ceremony was the light

and women's bodies did not harden

as they stood in the shadows

watching the winos commune with jackals

and the children play with paper sails.


Among the kohl eyes and black draped women 

shopping in the bizarre,


I long to wander free as a winged creature

in the shape of a hieroglyph,

in the shape of mystery, in the curve of linen…


I long to see the women in the streets who speak to me from their eyes;

hear them as they say:  Welcome home my sister, my brother.


I feel their presence now and know that we are one.


If this life is fragile and we are often too easily broken,

then let today be the day we celebrate love, so beautifully transparent

with its perfumes and melancholy vines.


Come me with where the lions roam free

and give over your weary heart to rest in mine. 


I long to be once again in ancient sands, in pristine gardens,

in God's country listening to the wild things speak.


Let us be where the journey is loving,

where the tribesmen know secrets we have forgotten.


Come with me now where the white lions are walking. 

          I have heard them calling your name.




If you are not familiar with Linda Tucker's White Lions, please clink on this link:


In addition to the award winning poem, Faded Heiroglyphs, two more Zayra's poems have been generously included in the African Legend Series: Leopard Song and Tears of Lion.  

white lion book cover by silvia duran

All proceeds from this compilation will go directly to aid the conservation of these showcased beings.