Sunset in a Southern Land


Sunset in a Southern Land


Timed, dark and tumbled
The hills come riding onto the plain.
Their forms stretching forward,
Shadowing forth in their quest for the infinite;
Angled into the faint breezes of immortality,
They move in determined progression.

The captain's voice is barely heard —
It drifts in silence
Upon the vast reaches of the continent.
Yet they hear him calling them anon.

Some riders have reached the sunset;
Their faces are illumined
And their goal is sounding in delight.
Some brave, some slow, some weary
Are left to sleep, to rest, to wonder.
In tomorrow's dawn their captain
Is calling them to ride again.


Many years ago, I anonymously entered this poem in a competition. The person judging the poems had a Ph.D. in Literature and perhaps it was from fear of embarrassment that I never put my name to it. Needless to say, I was disqualified, yet I did receive an honourable mention. The comment on my poem found its way back to me and one phrase struck me as being particularly beautiful – 'a sense of time opening out on all sides'. Ironically the judge’s words were, in many ways, more poetic than the poem itself. Sadly, the rest of the comment can no longer be found but the poem lives on.


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