The watcher, part 1


A welcome hush has fell upon the land

and brought the deer and oxen to a gentle sleep

And in their hearts a happiness

as they lay next to their fawn, next to their calf

But in the night the watcher stands,

Above the land, the sea

above his kin

And still above the watcher is another

and another

They who wrote the mystery

The watcher makes a silent prayer

for the deer and oxen in his care

Though he cannot know their story

He knows it as a story, one in which they share

a leaf

And still the watcher stands,

Above the land, the sea

above his kin

And still above the watcher is another

and another

They who placed the serpent in the sea

And in the watcher's gaze, and in his heart

There is a yearning from the dark hills

The hills which were there before the watcher

before the other

and the other

A welcome hush remains upon the land

But now the deer and oxen stir inside their gentle sleep

And in their hearts a jealousy

as they lay next to their fawn, next to their calf

And in the night the watcher stands,

Above the land, the sea

above his kin

And still above the watcher is another

and another

They who whisper through the leaves, through the trees


Having studied the poem for several days without rest, I remain convinced that it is in fact, a coded message coinciding with the King’s visit to England.  That I have not broken the code fully, does not lesson my certitude, but I must put an end to my labor and allow myself to rest.  Why the complicated ruse?  I may never know the answer to this question, or, it may avail itself to my scrutiny without further study.  Another thing is clear to me now involving this simple servant . . . no simple servant could have done this thing.  On the surface, it appears to be just what it claims to be, a poem, and it is typically vague and open to a myriad of interpretations.  Beneath the surface it is something different.  I have not slept for several nights, and my incontinence has returned.  I am drinking salt water with fennel and pomegranate juice, but it is only making me more miserable.


Sorren refers to this as poetry.  In fact, this is not poetry, for it is not written in the proper form of accepted alliterative meter.  It follows part of the accepted form, but the stressed syllables are either in the wrong place, or not there at all where they should be.  The numbered metering is either missing, or intentionally excluded, and only the faintest hint of consonance can be detected for the sole purpose of producing a sad and melancholic disappointment.  This is a mess.  I conclude that Sorren has mimicked this form only and insofar as to hide its real purpose, which is the transmission of a coded message.  The Watcher can be none other than he, and this bothers me.


And so I attempted to tear it apart.  I quickly realized that it was not an acrostic poem, nor couplet, nor sonnet, but instead was a special form of prose.  I began by numbering and calculating the numeric value of each sentence for its stressed and non-stressed syllabic value. I paired this number with the number from each quatrain before inserting the letter for each quatrain into a magic square to see if this was his scheme.  I came up with some interesting possibilities, but I knew that this code must be coded for a single, specific message, so I abandoned the endeavor.  Next I calculated each line of prose for its syllabic value and assigned a weighted letter to each line.  In each quatrain I produced a word, but the results were nonsense.  I even calculated the numeric rhythm of each line for a consistent syllabic value hoping to uncover a quasi algebraic equation, or template, but this too, failed to be consistent.  Finally I came to the conclusion that the message was contained within the word scheme itself, and that an analysis of each line would single out a specific word from each line, to be combined from the poems constituent parts.  This labor gave me the most grief, but it yielded some startling possibilities, none of which I was prepared to accept. 


I have suspended my analysis of this poem and have begun to contemplate the possibility that my entire endeavor may be in vain.  Were I not under orders to analyze this book of Sorren, I should conclude that it is in fact, nothing more than a mere book of prose, a book of stories and fantastic musings from a restless man with terrible dreams.  I yield to the will of my superiors’ however, and I shall continue to analyze until the end, with the hope that new evidence shall be gathered.  I admit that part of me is beginning to admire this simple servant.  But perhaps I am overly tired, for it is not my intention, nor my prerogative, to question the judgment of my superiors.’





This book becomes stranger the deeper I delve into it. And when I first realized that this book had already been curated once, and that the annotations were from the mysterious man known as M, I had no idea how strange this would become. More and more, I find myself now curating the very words of M, even as M is curating the words of Sorren. This is almost like some form of organic synergy taking place, and sometimes I feel like I am being drawn back in time, drawn back into the world of Sorren.

I have much to say about this poem from Sorren, but I must begin by saying that I am somewhat surprised by the reaction of M. His reaction is so completely unexpected that I now feel that it is important to re-examine his role as a curator of these leaves. How he could have seriously thought that this poem, obscure and unorthodox as it may be, could have been some form of coded message, is beyond strange, and further it points out the differences of culture and thought lost within the vast expanse of time, as if the very structure of consciousness had undergone a systematic transformation over the centuries. The extent to which he analyzed this poem is truly bizarre, and I ask myself if even now I am missing something, or that there is another layer beneath which I am completely ignorant.

And then, within the annotations of this leaf, M revealed something that up until this time, he was careful to keep hidden. I read his words, and I cannot but help feel that the stress he is under has clouded his judgment, and that he is beginning to question his mission. M is being directed by persons or institutions that he has alluded to, and it is to their purpose that he has been engaged. This must be a very powerful organization for M to have gone to such ludicrous lengths to obtain evidence to support their conjecture, for we know that it is not his own conjecture . . . he has already implied this much. It seems to me that M is trying to prove an already accepted theory, and the further he begins to question the veracity of this conjecture, the further he is drawn into this strange conspiracy.

My examination of the poem written by Sorren was actually much different than that of M. I liked the poem the moment I read it, even before I had time to reflect. Subsequent readings only reinforced my fondness for this work of Sorren. That this poem does not follow the rules of proper iambic pentameter does not surprise me. Quite the contrary, it makes me admire Sorren even more than I already did, for he did not let his ignorance of such forms and conditions prevent him from expressing his feelings. This is his personal diary we must remember. What better place to open up ones heart and mind and not suffer the burden of protocol and bitter judgments from other people. Sorren was not trying to imitate Homer. My guess is that Sorren may never even have heard of Homer, or iambic pentameter, or stressed syllables, consonance, assonance, or feet. This does not make him ignorant in my view, no . . .this makes him unique, and this makes him authentic and genuine.

In Sorren’s time, it was dangerous to question authority, it was dangerous to deviate from protocol, and it was dangerous to be different. Different people sometimes were bound and burned at the stake, or drown in dirty water beneath the weight of stones. Different people were tortured until they ceased to be different. Within one’s private thoughts it may have seemed safe, even to men like Sorren, but it wasn’t. Your property could be confiscated for any reason by powerful adversaries and leaders of the Church. One was never safe. Contrast this to the courage of today’s modern artists and poets. Contrast this to the avant-garde and those courageous enough to use sickening, foul language and paint soup cans on canvass and produce pornographic pictures, or write run-on sentences that go on for a hundred pages. Where is the real courage? I say it is with Sorren.

And the poem? I think that Sorren is brilliantly asking the same questions we all still suffer with . . .the existence of God and the continuation of the spirit. He does not say so, but even this uneducated man has such a yearning that mere words cannot hold it back, and his metaphor, profound and universal, is burned into words like a stone tablet. It seems to me that this could be construed as a dangerous thought, but the wisdom of Sorren was to hide it in between beautiful and vivid imagery, and like a gentle breeze, waft across our mind like a curious faun in the forest.