BEHOLD THE THUNDER HORSE
Dark lie the skies, as an ebony ocean
Rippling with cloudlets of surf-showered foam,
Lashed by the whipcords of storm-harnessed lightning,
Raking the heavens with fiery combs,
Savagely striking like flame-spitting cobras
Flicking their tongues through the vapours of Night,
Streaking through Space like a phalanx of dragons –
Melting the candlewax stars in their flight.
And as the skies part their dark, scorching curtains
Lit by the flickering shadows of fire,
Out from the flames rears a black steed of thunder,
Phoenix-wise born from a burnishing pyre –
Eyes blazing fiercely like crimson infernos,
Flashing like meteors bolting through Space,
Flames roaring loudly through dark velvet nostrils,
Framing with fire his illustrious face –
Streaming to Earth like a star cast from Heaven,
Wingtips alight with vermillion plumes,
Tail tossing high, now a flickering candle
Burning a trail through the smouldering gloom.
And as he lands on a grey, brooding mountain,
Mane ruffling far like a meadow of fire,
Thunder is borne from his deafening hoof-beats,
Echoing far like a vast booming choir.
Clashing in Space, these celestial cymbals
Loudly resound through the battle-torn skies,
Shredded and shattered by arrows of lightning
Shooting like flames from the thunder gods’ eyes –
Gazing to Earth as their mighty steed races
Far ‘cross the mountains in glorious flight,
Hooves ringing far, as the star on his forehead
Slashes the heavens with sabres of light.
Onward he surges, through hillside and valley,
Singeing the treetops with each fiery roar,
Vomiting flames like a spurting volcano
Booming with menace from skyline to shore.
Yet as he glows like a lava-lit furnace
Far through the sequin-sewn shades of the night,
Evening flits softly from purple-hued heavens,
Bidding farewell as she passes from sight,
Leaving the skies now as slumbering Morning
Shakes off her rose-petal blankets of sleep,
Soon to ascend through the clouds, soft and fleecy –
Frolicking gaily like clusters of sheep –
Bearing the sun like a glistening globule
Dripping its molten aurorae through Space,
Hanging it deftly from Heaven’s bright archway,
Lighting in splendour her shimmering face.
And as she smiles in the sun’s golden mirror,
Thunderclouds wilt, sinking downwards to die,
Blown from the heavens by Morning’s gay laughter,
Nothing remains but a soft lonely sigh.
Now, far below, like an ebony shadow,
Rising on pinions emblazoned with fire,
Swiftly their stallion soars through the heavens,
Upwards once more to his ultimate pyre,
Swiftly approaching the sun’s bright corona –
Hung like a burnishing nimbus in Space –
Nearer and nearer, till wingtip and halo
Melt into one ‘midst the heaven’s warm face.
Gone is the steed of the storm cloud and thunder –
Far past the dawn’s bright eruption of light –
Lost in the radiant sun’s incandescence
Borne through the clouds in its luminous flight.
Yet if the thunder gods e’er should roar loudly
Far through the heavens of some future night,
Then would he rise in a great conflagration,
Streaming on pinions of flame-feathered light,
Scorching through Space like a blazing colossus,
Tail curving high like a smouldering lyre,
Spraying with flames this caliginous shadow –
Borne into life by the spirit of fire.