This poem is metaphoric. It portrays the land as unsafe for mankind. In “ambush” the land waits to swallow its inhabitants. The word “ambush” simply means a surprise, sudden and unexpected attack. To hide and spring up to attack unexpectedly describes an “ambush”. In this poem, certain agents have been recognized as laying an ambush. They are the whale, the tiger, the hawk and the land itself. From all these, it behooves that man is not safe. In the sea, the whale is in ambush, in the forest, the tiger is king, in the air, the hawk holds sway, then those that stray still come back to meet the land itself.
The land is full of wicked and evil people who will stop at nothing to achieve their evil ambition. They are the giant whales that swallow the hook, the line, the sinker and even the bait. Such people abound in the land. They are the leaders, political, military, traditional or religious who take advantage of the people’s unpreparedness to exploit, suppress and oppress them. The activities of these evil people have turned the land to be described as follows:
The land is a giant whale
That swallows the sinker
With hook, line and bait.
This means that those who are high and mighty use their positions to silence others and suppress them out of reckoning such that their earthly dreams are aborted. Many who have good dreams have their hopes and dreams shattered. Again, the land is described as the tiger with the sabre teeth whose wild cry in the depth of the forest scare children from returning to walk at night.
Simply put, the poem insists that our land is no longer a safe haven for all and sundry. The leaders are ever ready to do any unwholesome act to achieve their inordinate ambition. The land is full of robbers, kidnappers, terrorists who are ready to swoop like the “hawk” and devour its prey. Even those who appear to have escaped the “giant whale”, the “sabre-toothed tiger” or “the giant hawk”, still have to contend with the land.
The land lies patiently ahead awaiting in ambush those who point away from a direction where nothing happens towards the shore of possibilities.
Death is inevitable and the “land” patiently waits for the return of those that will move “away from the direction where nothing happens”. The land waits to swallow all in the end.