Ten past sunset, scythed moonlit sphere –
‘neath; a tyrant, which hath no fear.
Roosting on branch with sternly glare;
wise feathered sentry in nature’s lair.
He nods with wink; bidding ‘morrow sun –
Now dark! How dark! This day is done!
Steadily embraced, in arms of his tree,
duty beckons at Midnight, perhaps Three.
Which side, the darkness, night watch lie?
When the dead arise? Or the living die?
Scarlet stains, an earlier hunt, now paled
whence talons swiftly caught, then impaled.
Suddenly vanquished, by bird of prey –
foe mortally wounded, breath fades away.
Nature’s rule dictates, as above, so below –
this, cycle of life, for both prey and foe.
Silence breaks, with creatures conferring –
throughout the trees, a scattered stirring.
A curse to them all, with forbidding glance,
those hastening, in wooded happenstance.
He is guardian of night, and forest keep –
until dawn, when even, the owl must sleep.
© Literary Remains