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Leland Waldrip

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Member Since: Aug, 2001

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Eetwidomayloh (He Who Greets With Fire)
by Leland Waldrip

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

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This poem was inspired by “Eternal Enemies,” a National Geographic TV program filmed in Africa by a couple who lived among spotted hyenas and lions for months. They captured some amazing footage that included this approximately true story. The name Eetwidomayloh is pronounced
e’ twi doh may’ loh.

 African Blood Feud


(He Who Greets With Fire)


Northern Botswana, Africa’s gut, wild still,

Acacia laced veldt, plain and rolling hill, 

Home of elephant, zebra and wildebeest,

Blood feud north, south, west and east,


Hyenas and lions compete for same food,

Clan and pride subject to opportunist mood

Of the other, beyond mere competitive hate,

Yet each species entwines in other’s fate.

Each robs kill if combat strength over-match,

Kill other’s stragglers if they find and catch.    


Eemaydah and Eetwidomayloh share a pride,

Eemaydah slightly older, his emotions can hide,

Eetwidomayloh, male lion prime, blood hot, 

Rippling hard muscle, explores range in trot.


Eemaydah, pride’s boundaries also must mark,

So while males go on their cruising lark,

Hyena clan’s numbers gather in strength,

Harass pride’s females, go to any length,


To scavenge their kills, overpower them if alone,

Chase them up trees, aware males are gone.

Eemaydah returns, clan matriarch unaware,

Overpowers, breaks her back without a care.


New matriarch assumes command of clan,

On spiteful mission launches daring plan,

Taunt Eemaydah, disdainfully mark his spoor,

She traces his path, covers his scent on tour.


Lion king is watchful of haughty indiscretion,

Content to attend standoff with siege session.

But now comes Eetwidomayloh, sees this sight,

Lions humbled, insulted. Ears back, into flight,


Straight for matriarch, from nearby viewing post,

Six hundred pound frame rippling to the most,   

Black mane waves air, each veldt eating bound,

Tail behind juggernaut, for balance swings ‘round.  


Anger on face, palpably awful, vivid and large,

Too late, matriarch sees all out raging charge,

She turns on a whimper, rude plan now forgot,

Races for her life, survival hope, her only plot.


She dodges, he counters, she stretches, he gains.

She runs, eyes back, as their separation wanes,

He gauges leaps ‘til her stride match he’s found,

Huge paw stretches, claws bared, curve around,


Hooks her hind foot, she trips, quickly trapped,

On her last heartbeat, her thick neck snapped,

Great grinding crunch — dealing satisfied scorn,

Death of short career, clan’s nightmare is born.


Eetwidomayloh, supreme killer, feline sire,

Greets loathed enemies with searing fire.

Vengeance roams veldt, new purpose keen,

Find hyena clan, remove from the scene.


We don’t know how far his vendetta went,

If Eetwidomayloh’s life has been spent,

But hyenas’re still there, yipping with fright,

As huge lion — or ghost — haunts their night.   




Rappahannock Books
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Reviewed by Sam Battye (Reader) 3/15/2007
Gosh, has it really been three years? I came upon this site quite by chance and it all came back to me.

For a start, I am appalled at what I wrote. I remade my account here, so that I could come here again for the sole purpose of apologising. Though the spotted hyena is still very much my favourite animal, I have grown a lot since then, and now I am truly ashamed at my behaviour. Will you please forgive me?

I re-read the poem, and as most of the other users here have pointed out, it is very gripping and though I have seen the documentary many times, it still had me on edge through to the brutal climax.

As for Judas, though I can see that your knowledge on the spotted hyena is superficial at best and that I could devote a whole page on lecturing you, I will refrain from doing so. You were right, this is after all an appreciation page for authors.

Again, I can't apologise enough.
Reviewed by Judas Iscariot (Reader) 3/6/2007
I am sure you felt the same way about the poor defenseless Nazis who got beat up by the big bad bully of America in world war 2 huh Sam. For your information hyenas some of the most foul and morally depraved creatures on the planet. They routinely commit violence to other clan members and sometimes kill them with little or no provocation at all. Female Matriarch babies will kill each other to ensure their own succession as Matriarch when their mother dies and the mother will simply watch this and not intervene to save either daughter. Hyenas are notorious for being "scavengers" and will steal the kills of other animals, will kill wounded/trapped/sick animals, and aggressively go after the young of every other animal including lions. These are facts about the hyena. I know facts are unimportant to you however because you simply associate with the hyena because you feel comfortable around bottom feeders like them. You will be thrilled to know that there are humans who share many of the same qualities as hyenas and you can find them on communists websites where your intellectual garbage will be much more appreciated than here. This is a forum to discuss literary works and give feedback to their authors not a pulpit from which to preach morale relativism.
Reviewed by sam battye (Reader) 6/15/2004
I have watched the documentary and I can tell you right now that I fail to see how you can admire such a brute. That poor hyena matriarch had a cub who because of Eetwidomayloh's bloodlust, was orphaned when still young and inexperienced. And I really was upset when the other matriarch couldnt escape from him. I just cannot see what you find so great about him. Do you think its brave and daring to kill something half your size and is terrified of you?
I do not consider him a noble lion king, I consider him to be nothing more than a big bully.
The hyenas showed true bravery when defending their cubs and fighting the lionesses.
I hope the hyenas kill Eetwidomayloh one day.
Reviewed by Ashraf Goreja (Reader) 10/18/2003
An excellent write, Leland. Exceptionally beautiful picture of jungle

Reviewed by OnepoetGem *the Poetic Rapper 10/13/2003
Great poetic jungle write, the rhyme was great. I love to watch the wild action on tv, it reminds me of how cruel life can be sometimes. Yes those lions on the roam at night will eat up anything almost. The hyenias get the left overs. G
Reviewed by Charles Mann (Reader) 10/12/2003
Reviewed by T. Emilie Dybevik (Reader) 10/9/2003
Quality poetry Leland! I miss reading things like this! I agree that this is art in EVERY WAY! Fantastic --you had me on the edge of my seat! One of my favorite shows as well ;) --Excellent!

Thank You,
Teresa Emilie
Reviewed by Floria Kelderhouse (Reader) 10/9/2003
Leland this is a work of art....wonderful writing...I enjoyed reading it..floria
Reviewed by Kay P Devenish 10/9/2003
What a beauty of a poem.I thought the story was great and it held my attention right through,I just loved this one!
Best wishes always

Reviewed by Bhuwan Thapaliya 10/8/2003 have penned another excellent write my n luck.....BHUWAN
Reviewed by Trish - The Trickster 10/8/2003
Good Morning Leland. I enjoyed this write immensely. Thank you for sharing your wonderful talents with us. ~Trish~
Reviewed by Pamela Kimmell 10/8/2003
So grippingly told that I was on the edge of my chair reading - I could see the whole thing as if I was there Leland...only a true teller of tales can do that. The law of the jungle draws parallels to humankind's newspaper headlines doesn't it....Excellent write.

Best, Pam
Reviewed by jude forese 10/7/2003
well versed!
Reviewed by Jaclynn Huntington 10/7/2003
Such a clear picture painted in your words. Felt I was there.

Reviewed by Floreann Cawley 10/7/2003
an excellent write..Floreann
Reviewed by Ronald Hull 10/7/2003
Interesting subject. Thanks for the education.
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 10/7/2003
Enjoyed reading this...hey why didn't you pop in for some coffee?

You were so close to me in this!!

Love Tinka
Reviewed by Retta (Reindeer) Mckenzie 10/7/2003
This was outstanding, I loved reading this, hope I get a chance to see this film,

Reviewed by E T Waldron 10/7/2003
This was written beautifully Leland, I caught the throb of excitement, made it so enjoyable to read. You always research things so well that the reader can always trust your work.
Reviewed by Jimmy Holder 10/7/2003
Amazing poem!
Reviewed by William Bonilla 10/7/2003
great write here Leland
enjoyed reading much

Reviewed by Kate Clifford 10/7/2003
The raw nature in this write is incredible. Great Write.
Reviewed by Carolyn Red Bear (The Bear Paw) 10/7/2003
This is a very moving write, Leland. Brings you right there. ANd I don't like hyenas, either..... excellent....
In Spirit,
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 10/7/2003

o, this is breathtaking in scope--definately a keeper

i have always wanted to go to africa...and you took me there, if only in spirit, in this dramatic tale--i could feel, taste, see, SMELL africa

(((HUGS))) and love,

karla. :) *thank you*
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 10/7/2003
excellent story within this poem; well done, leland! :D (((HUGS))) and love, your texas friend, karen lynn. :D
Reviewed by A PAX 10/7/2003
I love poetic tales!!!!
This is great!!!
Thank you
Reviewed by Brenda Ross (Reader) 10/7/2003
Amazingly powerful poetry capturing some of the awe-inspiring episodes that epitomize the law of the jungle.
Reviewed by Katy Walsvik 10/7/2003
Oh wow.. oh, god, Leland.. it has taken me several minutes here to get to my comments.. I watch Nat.Geo and all animal shows and documentaries exclusively, when I bother with TV.. From the "She dodges..." on, I left the room, wasn't here at all, was with them, watching, feeling, holding my breath, gasping at the reality and the amazement of your write! I can't tell you how slowly I'm pulling away from what you've given me here... Thank you. I feel like a 'soul-mate' for you've expressed for me what I experience when I follow these intense and beautiful adventures. I even grieve when an animal I've come to know, by name, sometimes, is taken down or left behind to die. Yet I marvel at the very nature of what I see. You write with passion and care.. this will forever be my favorite of yours. I'm rambling.. I do that. Thank you again! katy xox.
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