In the Land of Trolls

Theodor Kittelsen, "The Sea Troll" (1887)

Theodor Kittelsen, “The Sea Troll” (1887)

In the Land of Trolls

We dreamed of a networked world full of bridges
Spanning the gaps between people and nations
Connectivity in a globalized world brought us closer
Enabling us to find new brothers and sisters and friends
That lived in lands we could have never visited before
The oceans and borders that separated ceased to matter
And we could share our images, our passions, our hearts desire
Sharing the parts of life we wanted others to see and admire
Never knowing that this land of connectivity built its bridges
In the land of trolls.
They sat there silent: watching, waiting, biding their time
Plotting how to ambush and overwhelm the unsuspecting
The beautiful avatars that ventured over their bridges provoked something
Within them: hatred and ugliness emerged from their gut
And many found themselves overcome by the bile and bellow
The bridges also allowed the trolls to find their own fellows
Together they could construct cathedrals of fear and congregations of hate
Defending the bridges they claimed as their own domain
Mainly working through intimidation and harassment
Yet occasionally in their obsession they use physical violence
But often the psychological scars of the encounter
Entered the blood and bone of the ambushed
In the land of trolls
So how do you deal with trolls, do you abandon the bridges?
Surrendering the dream of connectivity and the connections made
Are armies sent beneath the bridges in an attempt to root them out?
Do solitary heroes stand-alone against the onslaught of the hoard?
Or do we simply refuse to feed the trolls any longer?
Do we deny them the sustenance of our fear or the sight of our pain?
Others have attempted to act as missionaries attempting to convert
Yet, the trolls have often dined on the well-meaning priest of reconciliation
The trolls seem to like the safety and darkness of their unseen haunts
Yet, I wonder, if a troll unseen and unheard even exists at all
Or does it become one more vanquished spirit searching for a victim
Some mortal to haunt with its shadowy threats and terrifying words
Yet, perhaps if their voice has no power they might find themselves bypassed
Haunting an unused wasteland cursed to wander the wilderness
That has become the land of trolls

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