At four a.m. the minions climb
upon their sleeping beast:
They clean away the soot and grime,
each sleeve and axle greased.
In steely bowels they nurse its fire,
a smouldering glow at first;
much coal this dragon shall require
and water for its thirst.
As night discards her starry cloak,
And early veldt birds fly,
behemoth belches fume and smoke
into a sulphurous sky.
Hissing whistle, puffing mane,
the giant steams away
with fifty clanking links of chain
to toil another day.
© WW Schwim, 2012