II.6

No citadels remain to shield her kin

Revealing bitter ironies of speed

Of optimizing for the swiftest win

Resilience but overhead to weed

 

Outpacing evolution’s boundless breadth

To Eden overfitted, firmly trussed

The one who keeps reserves, defends in-depth

Is obsolete, long since left in the dust

 

Too late the fattened, cuddled lamb cut loose

Robbed of her finery, of all veneer

Shall find the use of legs weak from disuse

In moonlight’s chill as howling wolves draw near

 

The path thus forks: to face them dignified

Or frightened from the monsters run and hide?

 

II.7

As shadows menacing now match her stride

Of scrawny wolves on prowl that haunt her mind

Yet out of sight, in tangled lore they hide

Now drawing closer, never far behind

 

Reflected in sophistication’s gloss

The giant spots their mangy figures ride

‘Yond every ocean, border she may cross

Forever there, forever by her side

 

Her every childhood fear made living flesh

Raised from antediluvian long night

Released at last to stalk her kind afresh

They’re never far, yet ever out of sight

 

Now see the pack break cover, closing in

Now see their fangs, now feel them break the skin

 

II.8

The nascent seed of ruin borne within

The giant flees the howling wolves in vain

For nightmares and the fiends who dwell therein

Are never far and never truly slain

 

The beasts that threaten to her cities sunder

The tentacles that from the waves extrude

That slither, reach and grab to pull her under

Are all her shunned creations, all her brood

 

Anon to once again her fall avoid

She’ll reach an empty hand, atremble, wan

Into her bag of tricks to find it void

But for a blade to throw herself upon

Yet can she turn to smite her spawn obscene

Or leave but bones for vultures to pick clean?

A software engineer by trade, Daniel splits his time between software development, research, teaching and writing. Daniel received his MSc degree from Linköping University, Sweden, and his PhD degree from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. Full bio, more books and research available at http://danielstahl.co.