Drinker of the Wind


Some time ago when I was at the ad agency in Bahrain, I worked with some very talented artists and illustrators. One was Linda Strydom – who created the illustrations for Corpoetry and among so many others there was Francis Tiongsen, his brother David Tiongsen who is nothing short of amazing and many others who do so much more than computer graphics. If you check out their portfolios in the links provided you’ll know what I mean.

All that is by the by. Just thought I’d give some friends a plug!

This poem came about because Francis loved horses and at the same time we were doing a brochure for a real estate project created around the theme of horses, in particular the Arab. He’d created some captivating illustrations which then prompted this poem based on an old Bedouin legend.


He was Erebeh, he was mystery

He was the Arab steed

And he flew across the desert sands

Chasing the storm

His hooves thundering

A warning to those who had sinned

He was the first Drinker of the Wind.


His mane it was midnight

His eyes were the stars

And the light from his hooves

Four galaxies that shone from afar.

One look from him, one shake of his head

And the other steeds followed

Their leader, their messenger

Who ruled the old dunes

He ran wild and free and his sinews were limned

With good honest sweat: the Drinker of the Wind.


Long was he hunted

Hard was he sought

And the Bedouin tribes

Over him once had fought

But his was a spirit born to be free

A being not to be broken

Nor ridden was he.


But legends tell us

That one wild winter night

A lone Beddu approached him

So humble, polite

And our Arab stallion pawed the hard dunes

And took unto him a mare pale as the moon


Then he left as he came that dark winter night

Like a vision, a dream, a mere flicker of light

Never again to be seen by mere men

For he truly was the first Drinker of the Wind.


Some say they saw him

Against the dawn sky

Some say they hear him,

When the wind rumbles by

But the Bedouin know

And their legends declare

The Drinker of the Wind can’t be seen anywhere


For he left as he came

On that wild winter night

When the sky was a mantle as dark as could be

And the wind moved the dune tides like waves on the sea.


No moon, not a star shone

That magical night

When the Drinker of the Wind

Disappeared from all sight


He flew up to the heavens

The night sky took him home

Where, as he was meant to,

He still freely roams.


Note: The Arabian Horse –

And God took a handful of South wind and from it formed a horse, saying: “I create thee, Oh Arabian. To thy forelock, I bind Victory in battle. On thy back, I set a rich spoil And a Treasure in thy loins. I establish thee as one of the Glories of the Earth… I give thee flight without wings.”

— Bedouin Legend

(Byford, et al. Origins of the Arabian Breed)



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