The Mumakil and the Haradrim

- jan-u-wine
In the dark hour
of the chill before dawn,
 
I touch my cheeks with gold,
paint my darkened lids
white,
 
draw, with careful hand,
the signet of my house
upon my face.
 
My father,
 
my Lord
says I must
fight in this battle.
 
I do not wish to.
 
I have no argument
with these men,
 
no reason to trample
their lives nor homes
beneath the feet
of this mighty beast.
 
We are friends,
 
this tall, grey animal
whom these savages
with horse-hair upon
their helms
call an "oliphaunt"...
 
we are friends,
 
this.....
 
oliphaunt
and I.
 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
 
Even here,
upon what must seem
a mountain
to those below,
I hear their screams,
 
feel the almost-stumble
as she crushes horse and rider.
 
Even here, blood racing
in my ears,
head overborne by battle,
 
I feel a confusion of regret.
 
Swayed safe upon the sanctuary
of her back,
yet still I see the swift-turning
flash of hooves,
 
catch the flash of sharp sun
upon sharper blade.      
 
 
With a sound like a sail
caught
in the teeth of the Sea,
 
she falls.
 
How long it seems,
the World turns before my eyes.
 
Sun
and the pierced blue of the sky
fold into the dun of the hills,
the dark mud of the trampled field
meets my body with a shock
I can no longer feel.
 
A great grey leg, turned wrong
like the broken stump of a tree,
lies atop me, catching the breath
from my throat.
 
Eyes stained with madness
gentle
as life flees her.
 
My hand finds the familiar stubble-hair'd
hide.
 
The light in the great eyes becomes soft,
dims......
 
departs.
 
I am but a step
behind you,
 
my friend.
 
I close my eyes
and let the thin thread
of my life
slip
upon the Wind of the World.