Beyond the candle in infinite black, sharp periwinkle-pearls
catch in a dancing flame – and twinkle back. Soullessly,
and with intent, they watch a man go insane.
The symbol of the eagle lying prone, an unholy figure of skin and bone,
uniformed in leper’s dress; ribbons, bloodied and blackened,
still attached to a skeletal chest.
Alone and dying in the dark, memories, conjuring a bark
of someone he thought he knew – a companion past,
a remnant from the human zoo?
But his eyes discerned little – swollen and blacked.
As salted diamonds burnt their way through a landscape cracked.
Mounted by blisters, boils and cysts; poisoned skin struggling to exist.
Yet… a sense of presence overwhelmed?
Cracked lips part – swollen tongue and bloodied gums,
conspire in the last act of a dying art…and motion to speak…
“Who’s there? – Satan? – Is that you? Is it really you? After all this time…I knew you’d come. Come on, come boy, I can’t see you…come near…come on boy…pleeease! BASTARD! Fucking traitor dog! – Why did you stray, leaving me alone and afraid? Can’t you see I’m dying for the sins of man and the art of lying? – Oh what have we done? The world is gone – it all blew up, and blocked out the sun –
A-a-am I the only one left? No! Of course not, you’re here aren’t you? I tell you Satan; God has sent me to Hell…but you know that of course? Ha, ha, ha, what is that fetid smell? Will you take my confession? – Sorry! That’s not part of your profession, is it? To give me absolution, No - thought not…Come on boy, come near…I have no offerings of food – but do you like gristle on your bone? Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.”
The Mastiff-sized Rat – sniffed, shuffled, bit, and scuffled-off
back into the labyrinth with its prize; it’s sleek bulk chased
by the sounds of agonizing cries.
Time, like memories lost meaning; a candle long dead, weeping,
laughter and shivering fear; companions in madness were creeping,
creeping, ever near…driven by hunger and the smell of meat,
the darkness echoed with the pitter-patter of thousands of feet,
making the progress of a train; faster, and faster, chugging in intensity,
until the rush became the whistling howl of a horrific destiny.
“ Praise the Lord – I think my pet has brought some friends…”
... and with sinuous grace, the kin of chaos leapt toward his face...
P Williams © 2002 revised 2006