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The barn Owl's Nightmare

by Karen Eastland 4 months ago in social commentary · updated 4 months ago
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Could be our reality

Shout out to Kevinsphotos on Pixabay

I was just a barn owl,

living comfortably in my barn,

when I dreamed a dream of what was to come,

and a sudden wash of wind and earth,

whipped up the straw beneath my plump…

white plume.

Silence of midnights beauties,

sounds of comfort and joy,

all torn from the beasts and birds of the forest,

and in one fell swoop,

the life I knew was destroyed.

A reckoning of human spoils,

sweeping desolation across the lands.

Where once we night owls nested in barns,

were caught in a net,

made of human hands.

I flocked to places once fertile,

to homes not kind to owls,

and the landscape that surrounded me,

was desolate, forsaken and without.

The silence of midnights beauties,

to the comfort of night-time songs,

were torn from the beasts and birds of a forest,

and in one fell swoop,

they were gone.

Shadows assumed illusions,

of nights remembered and forgot,

but there was something coming,

it wafted through the treetops.

Darkness held no hopes, no dreams,

the light of the moon was gone,

and the cracks and crevices of in-betweens,

brought no promise with the dawn.

When once the night was fresh and clean,

and the stars shined clear and bright,

I would leave my barn,

and fly into midnight,

to partake in night-time’s fun.

But my nightmare showed our habitat lost,

and no songs of the night did come.

I scoured my mind in sleep,

seeing as far as I could see,

but the world I knew had been reaped,

and a destiny of forever’s did recede.

I used the night to search that world,

finding stagnate waters,

and mud flat mounds.

The dead and dying,

of beasts and birds,

littered a dry, cracked ground.

all the trees were barren,

and a foul death haunted life,

with no nourishment to be found.

The night of the owls was dying,

no place left for our young to survive.

Desolation crowned the outlying,

edges of a once fertile ground.

In a state of ‘tweens,

of wakefulness and sleep,

a shudder ruffled my feathers and straw,

when as the dust,

engorged the dying and weak.

The forest was no more.

In a distance I had never seen,

a deeper darkness grew,

shallow rivers, both brown and green,

swirled in a slurry of poison goo.

Around a water hole,

were calcified trees,

and both near and far from scope,

were a mound of bones,

and a polluted quay,

no streams,

no rivers,

no hopes.

Looking further,

I needed to see,

how far man's ruination would spread,

and the surprise,

to my wide-open eyes was,

they engulfed all life,

even mine in their stead.

Something so horrific,

something so foreign to me,

woke me with a start,

and it was night,

and I was in my barn,

so flew to a nearby tree.

I looked up through its leafy greens,

saw a starry sky staring back,

and was the moon always that bright?

I thought, then cried and sat.

Night beasts roamed the forest floor,

and their songs sang of their joy for life,

I listened, and I saw,

comforted by, It was just a dream,

so fluffed my feathers,

and readied for flight.

The crack of twigs under hooves,

and the rustle of leaves caught my attention.

I sang with a bravado I no-longer knew.

“Hoot Hoot,”

with more than an ounce of apprehension.

Taking to the skies,

singing that song,

I dipped my wings ‘cross clear waters.

I purveyed the night,

in all its beauty, with awe,

but the knowledge of what was to come,

shook me to my core.

I am a night owl,

wise though I may be,

frightened by man's cruel hands,

and the devastation I had seen.

Weighed down with all that knowledge,

Or was it just a dream?

of the future not far from my barn,

that has me quaking in the trees.

I went about my night,

as normal as can be.

Catching field mice,

searching for a mate,

knowing one night soon,

I’ll have to tell them all,

just hope I’m not too late.

What was it that had me quaking in my barn?

Great monsters sat outside our domain,

lined, yellow and calm,

they stood proud,

like a lion with a great mane.

And I heard their growl,

but what could I do?

I am just an owl.

Only you can save us now.

social commentary

About the author

Karen Eastland

I write primarily, Urban Fantasy, but because my style sits on the cuff of several genres moving into paranormal fantasy was an easy step. I became a Vocal+ member to provide interactive access for my readers.

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