Folktober Challenge, Day 14

Inspired by image 2.14, The Wild Hunt

Riders in the Clouds

Now the hooves,
how they clip clappity clap,
thunder boom and
snap the clouds of black and grey
in half across the sky,

the gods astride the massive beasts,
with swords and pikes, they thrust, and ride,
wide-eyed, hair whip-blowing
sparking arcs
of light across the sky.

We have made them in our image,
full of jealousy, anger, and passion,
and in our carelessness, we’ve given them
too much might.

Tempests, dark nights of the soul,
the sun chariot skyward glides,
gilded horses with glittering manes
life that bursts and wanes
endless cycles and fate—
fatiguing and familiar—

we carry the dust of stars
without their power,

we are hunters and hunted,
this paradox, ours.

Paul Brookes is hosting a month-long ekphrastic challenge using folklore images to celebrate the launch of his new poetry collection, “As Folktaleteller.” You can see the images here and also read the other responses.

16 thoughts on “Folktober Challenge, Day 14

  1. I’ve seen other writers try to mimic the sound of horses’ hooves. This I think comes closer to the actual sound than any I’ve read: “clip clappity clap.” Perfect!

    Yes, the energy comes through.

  2. Those beginning images of the gods hunting astride their massive beasts unsettled me and as I moved through the poem, the disturbance went deeper, culminating with the final paradox in the last two lines. Brava!

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