Philippine Eagles

For Riza and Pals


Animals take cover, from a familiar shape in the sky

Or in its talons, they will depart and die

The eagle searches, sensing the local prey

Where it flies, it stills and quiets until it flies away


A foe to any it wants, the eagle soars and darts like a kite

But gives away…. many clear shots in a hunter's gun sight

She aims, then waits…. and doesn't shoot

The law would plunder her in return for this loot


Startled for a moment, a monkey looks about

And is swiftly grabbed from a tree…. its life fading out

With the blurring expanse of the forest before its eyes,

It's hauled away forever, soon a lifeless eagle's prize


The eaglets are out by themselves to hunt

Though it's the first time they're out at the front

Will they survive…. the poachers and receding wild?

Paradise is vanishing…. hunted down, cultivated, steriled.


In paradise too, civilisation takes a familiar course

Around the Ring of Fire where life erupts with force,

Society is struggling to hold itself true

It must choose now…. where it will go, what it will do


The cities swell and thrive to assert their might

Shining like beacons and leaving others in a darker night

Will the course ever steady and reach a shore,

Where both civilisation and nature can endure?


The people have fought and set themselves free

And kept strong against multinational rivalry

The nation's industries have flown high above the rest,

Caring for the lands, helping neighbours to be their best


The age-old question, as always, each answer is fortified

To face the challenges and hopes…. all on the same side?

Or will what's good, continue borrowing what's bad?

Knowing nature's turns, and what they've already had


Multitudes multiply, at the Catholic command

Multitudes take flight, leaving their Chosen Land

Can society accommodate, can it find a key?

In optimism…. this cannot be anyone's destiny


But where they fly, they bring happiness and goodwill

They adapt to other lives, they help and they cure ill

They want poverty, indifference and hostility to cease

They act on the front in the struggle for world peace


On the other side of paradise, multitudes cram into huts

Near the locales of riches, they drink from water butts

Their old, their young, they wait for the travellers' return

From their flight to other lands for what they can earn


Anywhere, where the Powers make civilisation a race

People struggle, grab at anything and any place

They make us run and they make us heel

While their hopes and fantasies become real.


ã Chris Gray 2014,