Tunnelling through the night, the trains pass
in a splendour of power, with a sound like thunder,
shaking the orchards; waking
the young from a dream; scattering like glass
the old men’s sleep: laying
a black trail over the still bloom of the orchards;
the trains go north with guns.
Strange, primitive piece of flesh, the heart laid quiet,
hearing their cry pierce through its thin-walled cave
recalls the forgotten tiger,
and leaps awake in its old panic riot:
how, too, shall mind be sober,
since blood’s red thread still binds us fast in history?
Tiger, you walk through all our past and future,
troubling the children’s sleep: laying
a reeking trail across our dream of orchards.
Racing on iron errands, the trains go by,
and over the white acres of our orchards
hurl their wild summoning cry, their animal cry…
The trains go north with guns.