By Stephen Cheney

Evening in the forest ridge;
Empty shells on the ground,
Droppings of careless foes.
Snaking limbs vein the sky.
Hunting through tree barriers,
'Till in bush overlooking a small valley below.

The wait begins 'till sleeps the hydra heads.
The farmhouse on the slope
Harbours a Predator landed from distant lands.
From afar his scope will seek an Eagle
In following days on platform dais.

Bunked with his gemlike companions;
One of them watches the night.
Slow goes the worm or will cross wires.
The dark surrounds and blinds;
The night light beckons a moth.

At the porch now crouches the Panther;
As the Night Watcher watches dark far trees
And waits for a signal from the Cockatoo
Nested by the road through day through night;
His cry will scatter hydras into forest windings.

A thread of fishing line …
A drop of Silence …
Flows down to the lips …
From above.
Never will wake the imbibed.

Slipping passed the Night Watcher,
Sliding the dark ground,
To the trees that shimmer darkly.
To the freedom of the vast spaces,
Country roads back to city lights.

A dawn cry but no scattering of hydras.
Instead despair of mourning sorrow.
The Predator's heart had stopped.
Nothing can be done to revive;
Buried in a mission.

An accident has forestalled a plan;
Such are the troubles of man.
Can bear a fate denied?
Gem a cast aside.
Is lament a master tide?

The Eagle visited the platform dais;
Its calls change the world.
What was to be a demise
Came to be an enterprise.
No one knows where no one goes,
There is a Divine Wind that blows.

(Image: Dante & Virgil Leaving the Dark Wood - Gustave DorĂ©)

[The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dissecting Society]


  1. Loved it. The message is clear and I hope the Eagle will remain safe, as unless they are stopped they won't quit until their mission is complete. Stephen, your poems are incredibly beautiful and powerful - you are a true wordsmith. Thanks.

  2. In spite of the text's beauty I confess I didn't understand the title, how is it related with the text? BTW the picture is fantastic!

    1. Sorry to confuse you Anonymous, but this is a loaded poem encoded with what are termed ‘Easter Eggs’. Poetry is ripe with double (or more) meanings. Solving the riddles widens the mind that lingers in a Shadow World.

  3. Hi Cheney,

    Danger is everywhere. I admire greatly the brave men and women who protect our countries against the scourge of Terrorism. Nowadays, all leaders who go against the mainstream are deemed targets. For instance, remember President Obama? He started off very well, and then he received a couple of direct threats and suddenly he became another "lame duck" for a term and a half. What a shame.


  4. As I read the poem I saw one image: war and terror. Regrettably this is the world we live in and we have to find ways to cope, and to keep our sanity.

    1. Sanity is not being without a sense of war, terror or evil. Avoidance is not sanity, awareness is. One’s Sanity has to expand be big enough to envelope horrors, to recognize them and face what can be faced; and not be small and encaged in horrors so eaten up by malicious presences.

  5. Was this a real situation or a fake one? In either case, I didn't understand a thing!

  6. Hi Ana, not all poems are for everyone. Some are deliberately made not to be understood except by those to whom they are directed. The court poems of ancient China and Japan for instance were about real people, but publically disguised. The poem is a story, an experience. Items are hidden, as the dark hides much from daylight eyes. You can still experience a poem through Feeling. As not all knowledge is clear, much that affects the world is ever misty and perhaps will forever remain so. We experience all knowledge through our senses and our senses, our inset vibrators, feel the vibrations of the external world: so knowing is through feeling. Our eyes touch afar whatever we see and our optic nerves vibrate; our inner ears vibrate to the far vibrations; our skin is pressed and so resonates by what we touch that is near. We also radiate what is inside us so that it is felt by the outer world; by those who are like us, but are not us. Feeling, as does love, transcends boundaries but is not always understood. Even a piece of knowledge can be analyzed endlessly into fragments but remain incompletely unknown, like a jigsaw puzzle with empty spaces. We endlessly try to understand ourselves, for that is the beginning of the path to understanding our universe. We reference all things to the reactions of ourselves; as in Tao, Zen and Quantum Mechanics, all interrelates, there is no actual lonely separation of anything.


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