The Rider


A rider, dusk-stained

in the desert,

caught my eye –

it was surprising

he had neither

coat nor feather,

but tears on his saddle

and in such dry weather

they were still

not dry.


As he came close

I watched his shadow

playing in the bony sands –

as if to warn by

growing longer,

reaching out his

black-grey hands

that some despair

was coming closer,

reaching toward

our fertile lands.


Closer still,

I saw his face

which looked so

scarred with grief –

I felt a chill of

loneliness and

could not find relief.

His ruddy scarf

was thick with dust,

and hands cracked

with the heat.

I gasped anew

when also saw

no boots upon

his feet.


I ran to meet him,

but he then

dissolved, a

cloud of mist.

Where was this rider?

Was he just a phantom

or a ghostliness?


All that day,

I searched the desert

for the rider and his steed

but realized, at last

he was an omen of a

future deed.


Years later,

I remember him;

he had come to warn

of times of shadow,

grief and sorrow –

not today, maybe tomorrow –

Still I wonder

when I’ll see

the reason he was born.




Lane Eddington

September 15, 2003