The force of it, irresistible, urgent, pulling
From within where I had forgotten my heart once pounded.
It is only the night sound of drums,
Down there in the valley and the voices bursting with exclamation.
It could be any language but it speaks of dancing fires
That make the deep shadows torture themselves
As they circle and rise and fall
Stamping the earth, imprints of before the missionary hymnals
Replaced the sweat, coming to me from below the surface,
And yet I know this is only schoolboys on the playing field
Raising a war cry to their team in the safety of floodlights,
Not the thudding assegai, not the African dust
Nor am I able to be drawn into that forbidding darkness
That once made my neck hairs stand like a warrior army
Ready for battle, nor will I go back but I cannot forget.