The Battle

Steve Lazarowitz


In my bed, so soundly sleeping
From an earlier bout of weeping
Suffering a misfortune I had chanced upon before
Never knowing, now was creeping
From my mind an anger steeping
Forming creatures of great peril from the hatred that I bore

And I saw it, tendrils spreading
Lightly flowing, quickly threading
O'er the barren rocky surface, it approached me in my pain
Yes I saw it in that setting
Cursed it, knocked it from its heading
All in all my head was pounding, pounding loudly in disdain

Sword in hand, my eyes were dancing
And again tendrils advancing
Over rock and over crevice from my right side they approached
With my sword now, I was lancing
'cross the rock so lightly prancing
Now I hit it, missed it, glanced it, on my deathbed I encroached

For no second did I waver
Now more tendrils, even graver
Did appear around the bend, crossing rock and crevice wide
As I watched, and I did quaver
I prayed for God to send a savior
"For certainly I deserve a less ignoble death," I cried

From the heavens there came thunder
The sky, it seemed, had ripped asunder
I looked, I gaped, then smiled for my prayers it seemed were heard
From the sky there came a flapping
Golden beak then came a-snapping
For too large and far too noble for an ordinary bird

From the heavens it came diving
And with hatred tendrils writhing
While I stood and watched in horror sights I'd never seen before
Tendrils wrapped around the eagle
Still it stood, its bearing regal
Tearing pieces from the tendrils with its beak and with its claw

As I stood there, I did wonder
Why the sky had ripped asunder
Giving birth to such an eagle as I'd never seen before
And I stood there bathed in sweat
Knowing I could not forget
Such a battle as I'd witnessed, for the tendrils were no more

Prayed my thanks my luck was holding
Heavy fog then came enfolding
Me and all the rocks and cracks around this barrenness
Still I stood and watched it molding
From the fog, a face unfolding
Into mystic visions I could not begin to guess

It was angry, it was bitter
Straight from hell did it come hither
As it formed at laughed its horror, I collapsed beset by fear
Hot flame from its mouth did spit
But weakened yet, I was not fit
To face another challenge thrown before me in that year

Now I understand this creature
From within it is my teacher
A lesson carved from anger, sorrow, hatred and despair
And I watched the creature fading
As my heart did hate the hating
Knowing well that in the end, my downfall it would share

There I stood, my hatred fading
In the dawn, my fear abating
Wondering what I'd learned and how to use it to my best
Then I saw it, clear as morning
From within that blessed dawning
Saw the eagle, knowing now that it could finally rest

The eagle called and left the earth
Mourned the death and blessed the birth
At last I knew what fortune had beset me on that day
I was the eagle, no mistaking
We were one and only breaking
Earthly bonds of ritual like anger and dismay


Author Bio

Steve Lazarowitz lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, his eleven year old daughter and enough animals to make a grown man cry. His work has appeared in numerous on-line zines including AnotherRealm, Exodus, Twilight Times, The Dragonsclaw Showcase (which he edits), Jackhammer, Dream Forge, Aphelion, Titan and A Little Read Writer Hood. In addition, release of his short story anthology A Creative Edge: Tales of Speculations from Domhan Books is imminent. Steve has written numerous reviews for SFSITE and has recently signed on as the SF and Fantasy editor for Twilight Times Books.



"The Battle" Copyright © 1999 Steve Lazarowitz. All rights reserved. Published by permission of the author.
This page last updated 1-24-99.

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