The Hunt

O.V. Usha
b. 1948


It burns
White hot are these sands;
Coils brand the body,
In crushing embrace.
Who has hurled me alive
On these burning sands?
With growing clarity
I see the strangeness of it all
And the approach of a beast of fierce resolve.

Large, wrought of fire,
With a slouch and a smothered roar,
It runs a bright flame tongue
Slowly over its ember lips.
In its gaze,
Poised for a throw
Is a thunderbolt
That would cleave my soul!

Now the beast pauses
Not close and not far!
Cry for help?
Stilled is my voice
And there is no one
Within the throw of human voice.
Has the beast put
A slow burning step forward?
Have those fearsome teeth
Splashed white liquid fire?
Yes it draws close,
Lets out a roar;
Puts out its flaming tongue
and licks those ember lips.
It bends over me.

There is no patch of cloud
In the spread of its wild fiery eyes
The skies catch fire
The world burns!
The beast scoops out my heart and devours
And now in one sweep
It catches
The little bird, encaged in my frame
And it growls and rolls
In awesome play.

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