Vesper Wolves (from a dream)
by Ray Bonnell
What is sleep
But the hunting ground of the mind
Where the subconscious winnows the herd
And vesper wolves haunt my dreams.
Chest-high to a standing man
With lean, sinewy legs created for the chase,
They tirelessly pad along
scanning the dreamlands for unwary prey.
They have no want for frenzied speed.
Once the chase is begun
There is only relentless pursuit
Until the pack drags its exhausted quarry to ground.
I saw them but once, as we stood in a shallow, wooded draw.
The panicked megaloceros swept through first,
And then, along the ridge top, vesper wolves loped by,
Freezing our hearts in terror.
These lithe, Paleolithic predators,
They hunt my prehistoric dreams,
Stealthily encircling me at evening vespers
And stealing into my sleep unawares.
The weak dreams, the ordinary dreams
Have not the slightest chance.
They are torn to pieces before the dawn, and
Only the strong escape to reach my waking mind.
So, as I slip off into the dreamlands,
My blood races and the chase begins.
I anxiously await the end of night
When the survivors and I will celebrate the dawn.
Copyright 2007 Ray Bonnell