Diesel Chariot

Diesel Chariot

Blinding chrome bars gleam like metal sunlight
Shining ‘tween the headlights, mirrored sky,
Throws up dusty stormclouds in its passing,
Roaring horses make the wagon fly,

Down the sun-scorched fields of wheat and grasses,
The wheeled contraption, blend of man and beast,
Pours forth like a damn-broke flooding river,
Heat and smoke like wildfires in the East,

It drives with self-assurance through the steppe-land,
Beneath the jagged mountains peaked with snow,
As if possessed by some ancestral spirit,
Sped too by ancient car with axe and bow,

But now the diesel’s coursing through my bloodstream,
The black oil ‘neath my fingernails is set,
My body home upon the wheel and pedals,
Eons apart, yet blood does not forget,

The speed and power in the horses’ haunches,
The feel of might, to this my spirit drawn,
That carries me along by snarling engine,
I pray this thing will ride after I’m gone.

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