In the scarred land

 

Under the wind-haunted skies

 

By the village that is marked on no map,

 

With no history, no tribe, no country.

 

Where the wind wails,

 

Through the worn

 

Windows of mud brick,

 

Past the edge

 

Of the gap

 

In the barrier

 

Wall,

 

Shining paws

 

Fall

 

In the shadowed circle.

 

Silver tails

 

Flick, flick.

 

Let us go quickly

 

Now, to follow

 

The call

 

Of the black plateau

 

Where the rocks stand

 

Tall

 

In the billowing

 

Grass.  It is better to go

 

To see the wide, white jaws

 

Of the wolf than to sit, sipping

 

Bitter stones in this village

 

Of empty

 

Eyes,

 

Than to sit by the torn

 

Stumps of corn

 

That crackle

 

Like pale scales

 

In the dry-finned wind.

 

Let us go quickly

 

Now, and gladly

 

Into the courage

 

Of the eye

 

Of the wolf, into

 

The brave-riven flame

 

Of the night with no name.

 

Where only the lone

 

Call

 

Of the owl-hooded harrier

 

Echoes

 

From rock to rough-rued rock

 

In the soul of the dawn,

 

In the song of the stone,

 

In the winged wind

 

That will fly through the open sky

 

And forever be gone.

 

Written around 2003

 

Photo: © Thomas Barrat / dreamstime.com