Of the Thunder of Hooves, a Poem
Of the Thunder of Hooves
Ominous storm clouds gather and swirl,
Changing form like a gathering of eerie shape-shifters.
As I stare at the turbulent late afternoon sky in awe
They transform into a dozen black stallions.
Their ghostly riders pulling the reins
In a hesitant and temporary restraint,
Until the time is right
And the angry steeds can be released
To wreak their havoc.
More and more dark horses join the herd,
Bucking and snorting as they move slowly closer.
Lightning flashes in the distance,
And I recall "the Charge of the Light Brigade"
At the Battle of Balaclava,
And the poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson.
Suddenly, the spectres release the reins
As there is a loud CRASH!
And the sound of the thunder of hooves can be heard
Galloping fearlessly across the sky.
Thunder claps, lightning strikes, and rain buckets down
In this cumulonimbus assault from the heavens.
Is this a sign from an angry God
Disappointed with his creation,
Or just his wish to demonstrate
A small sample of his awesome power?
Fierce winds howl and rage,
Trees are snapped, houses unroofed, power supply lost.
But in the blink of an eye,
Almost over before it starts.
The sky lightens, as the ghostly horses gallop away,
Disappearing back to their heavenly stables.
Off the Shelf
I strayed away from my "Off the Shelf" series with my last poem, but here I am returning to a form of inspiration that's been working so well for me.
Of the Thunder of Hooves by Ian H Sabey is actually a rewrite of a story called "Mountain Rogue" which the author wrote in the winter of 1943 when he was a prisoner in a concentration camp in Germany during WWII. (I couldn't find the book on Amazon, but it is available at the above link through Biblio.com.au)
Prior to enlisting as a gunner in the A.I.F. Ian Sabey had been an Adelaide journalist. In addition to establishing a British P.O.W. paper, he taught journalism to 35 fellow prisoners.
In the author's words, "the work was done entirely away from ordinary surroundings under almost impossible conditions, and for the smallest circulation in the world - a Digger from Queensland suffering from nephritis, who had lost interest in this world and seemed booked for another."
Of the Thunder of Hooves is the story of an Australian wild horse, or in fact, many horses which have thundered down valleys and across streams, finally to appear on racecourses for what they call "The Sport of Kings."
Ian H Sabey's story is such an interesting one that I could probably have written a whole article about his life, and I may do so at a later date. But hopefully, this snippet gives you some insight.
© 2018 John Hansen