Friday, November 13, 2009


Gaur (Bos gaurus) are the biggest bovines on earth. These four live in Bandipur National Park in Karnataka where I was lucky enough to see them. It's dusk and they were far off. How fantastic is it to see such rare and huge creatures. Like the elephant they are led by the oldest female in the herd. The name I've given to her means mother of the cows.

gaur dp 339

ancient as diamonds
gaur are statues against green

ridge their backs

a saddle between
where water gathers in the wet

the female line
the sloped hillside

mother of the gaur
stands like a giant fortress
at the base
inverting the mountain

early risers
greet the day
moaning low

at night
a multitude
of sickle moons

long-sighted eyes
horns almost a circle
pale summer grass

rufous coats shining
under a full harvest moon

left alone
their only fight
is with time
bulls eyeline
their rivals
if out weighed
they walk away out
horns still
reaching for the sky

but be fearful of Matagavaam
who’ll whistle up her team
circle the youngsters
and gore
even one with tiger courage

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