Since time immemorial, man has been consumed by blood lust. During periods of peace and plenty, this lust manifested into blood sports. We are all familiar with the Roman Coliseum. Others have pointed out the aristocratic past time of fox-hunting. In fact, most of us enjoy movies of men and beasts tearing each other apart. Perhaps, as spectators and not participants we seek to sterilise our guilt.

Blood sports continue to this day, from the bullfight arenas of Europe and South America to the cockfight and dogfight compounds of Africa and Asia.

Even in America, seasonal hunting permits are issued under the guise of wildlife management. They call it culling, a euphemism for killing.

However, let us not be so quick to condemn others. Let us look into the mirror.

Horrors! I see myself!

I too had indulged in blood sports – for pleasure and profit. Probably, so have you and even members of your family.

The Coliseum by Eric Alagan  

Copyright @ 2011 by Eric Alagan


 The trainer’s whispered instructions


The gladiator, stared past eyes


As the arena consumed him.


Bred for the kill, another day

Had dawned

For lives, his claws will snuff away


It’s time for his foe to prevail.


Sensing more than hearing the crowd

His name

They chanted, for gory scenes of

Sliced limbs

Of the fighter he’s tasked to kill.


 In the ring, throwing disdain as

The throng

Thumped and cheered more, the crescendo


His eyes, his foe exuding fear.


He salutes, with sinewy arms

To strike

The delirious crowd, follows the


Blow promised them, with bated breath.


 The combatants traced circles, probed


To execute, a fatal blow

Deaf to

Uproar drowning exhortations.


 Weapons clashed, limbs slashed, reddening

The sand

Till one dies, the screaming rabble


And thrust, parry to louder dins.


 The crowd clamouring mad for more


Changed hands. The fatal combat raced,

To end

The opponent drops his arms, runs.


 Thumbs down, the foe’s trainer enters

To crush

The loser, to feed the blood lust

Now spent

With winnings, the crowd melts away.


 The winner licks his injuries


Scooped to his matchbox sanctuary

From leaves

He peeps, as the sky shuts above.


 Smug with winnings in my pocket

I toss

My fighting spider, who reigns now

How long

I don’t know, but I’m jingling home.

Please click here for the eVersion >

Hope you enjoy the read. Thank you, Eric


  1. What a nice trip down memory lane. Yes, I used to have fighting spiders too and we ‘fought’ our spiders in school – what fun!

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