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Poets’ corner: Song of the Wildebeests

By Timothy Otieno | September 19th 2015

The distant bells of 2017 begin to chime again

The seasonal rains begin to fall

Fostering the growth of new grass

The wildebeests indulge to feed and fatten

Mothers give birth to healthy calves

Yet with the season that comes

Crocodiles yawn in anticipation

And the jackals and lions

Cheetahs, leopards and hyenas

Skillfully hide their hunt

Patient for loin


We wait for the magic

Indescribable wonder swaying even the knowledgeable

Soon the herd will gather on the bank

Toing and froing across the ford

In relentless sequence

Calves bleating and bawling

Straight to the wide jaws

Some separated from their mothers

There is no going back for them

There is no adoption by other herds

Stragglers are forced to move on

The crocodiles finally have their day

Coming from their rut

To feast and laugh


Yet for those that cross

There still is no escape

For the jackals rush to their anticipation

Devouring mothers and fatigued calves

The dissidents will wither off

Malnutrition too awaits

The predators always win

With the song of the wildebeests

When they cross in hope of life

But their only ending is death

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