The Elephant Dance
This is part of a new thing I'm quite enjoying; writing poems that children might enjoy. Not children's poetry as such, because I think there's a massive crossover, and I would never alter my semantics for the sake of genre. Anyway, have a look.
The beat can be heard before they arrive,
because they’re very heavy
and coming in droves.
Doom-bah, doom-bah. They seem to find
their rhythm and gather, circle-wise.
The dance is tonight.
No-one knew until the sound began.
In a way, still no-one does.
But here it is.
Trunks aloft, the great limbs touch
gently, once, and then back away.
Slowly the swaying starts.
Each creature has a melody of its own, which
he or she will never sing. They can’t.
The dance is partly sad.
So two break off to fight in the dust.
Thick grimacing of tusks and noise
in the ghost-light.
The rest stand and observe, because
this is how big monsters must
settle their wars.
Once the fray subsides and the loser
joins ranks in silence, the circle
tightens. A great bow.
They all bend lumpen knees to kiss the soil,
and make silent whispers
with soft trunk lips.
This is the final routine, and it takes place
just as the dawn sizzles into being.
One by one, they rise.
The dance is done.
The elephants are going home.