Poem a Day #15 – Lion

Banks of the Zambezi

Banks of the Zambezi


I wrote a poem some time ago about being stalked by lions when I lived in Zimbabwe in the early ’80s. You can read it here. The scene of the stalking, a remote area on the banks of the Zambezi, and some of those stalked, are shown above. It was undoubtedly the most frightening experience of my life – I’m pretty sure we all thought we were going to die that night.

I was reminded of the incident today when reading a poem called “Lion” by Jericho Brown, in which he addresses a lion.

I’ve taken that idea, and addressed one of the lions that stalked us:

Lion …

that night you stalked us,

circled us


sent us to ground

consumed with fear


what was it

that drove you?


An animal lust

to taste the other,


a ritual of bonding

with your mate


like a young buck

on a first date?


Was it bluster,

an alpha maleness?


Were you making a point

with teeth and talons


stamping your ground

with roar wildness


or playing a game

of hot pursuit


and why


just as faint hope

flickered, dimmed


and dawn bled light

onto the scene


did you pad away,

your hunger unsatisfied?




5 thoughts on “Poem a Day #15 – Lion

  1. ‘dawn bled light onto the scene’ is the strongest line in the poem. At the end of the month, I’d like you to go back to this one and make something more of it…

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