Pim Claridge

Life in the Scottish Borders, one stanza at a time

Passers In The Night

I can hear them!
i can hear them from afar, they are coming through the dark,
in a maelstrom of bodies black with mud,
sickled horns lowered in defence.
hundred upon hundreds of hooves pounding in the dust,
in the dust of the savannah, in the dark,
black eyes staring, showing white beneath the moon,
breath heaving in the crush, as they run
in the dust of the savannah, in the dark

beyond the waterhole they pass
like a river rushing for the sea, and drumming
in the dust of the savannah, in the dark.
dust spirals in the moonlight, hanging in the air
as all other lives are halted
to let them pass,
in the dust of the savannah, in the dark

and the thrumming and the thundering are as drummers
drumming
in the dust of the savannah, in the dark,
and suddenly its all over, and dust and silence settle
as the buffalo have passed
in a maelstrom of bodies caked in mud,
sickled horns lowered as they ran
in the dust of the savannah,
in the dark.