Somewhere across the great plains of the world,
an antelope is galloping away.
He runs, and has been running for all time;
and many a predator has tried its hand
at landing claws in that elusive hide.
They seem to pass straight through and meet in prayer,
the paws that clap together in his wake.
Those killers are reduced to cats, brought low.
We stand apart, and leave that prize alone.
He tempts us, he delights us on those limbs
that look as though—one snap—they’d let him down.
But this would end in languor. We could turn
the planet into one almighty snare
and drive a silver girder through his side;
but all our lusts would immolate, our drives
be neutralized with him—the god of prey.
— Humphrey ‘Huck’ Astley is a poet and musician based in Oxfordshire, England. He graduated as Bachelor of Arts with First-Class Honours from Ruskin College in 2011, and as Master of Studies with Distinction from Oxford University in 2016. His works include the three-part album and stage-show Alexander the Great: a Folk Operetta (PinDrop/PRSF, 2013-15), The Gallows-Humored Melody (Albion Beatnik Press, 2016), and A Christening Sprung from Her Science (Rain over Bouville, 2021). His writing has appeared in various publications including Agenda, The London Magazine, and Poetry London. He is founding editor of The Crank, and an occasional critic. | @aboredlittleboy