Swinging from the Hangman's Noose
by Sheila Roy
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Rated "PG" by the Author.
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1692 - Salem, Massachusetts. My take on the Salem Witch Trials.
Beneath an eerie moon, the forbidden...danced...colored red with shame.
Swallowed by denial and frightened...they sought for others to blame.
Thus, tangled in a web of lies, spun by a child waging war;
Whose pinkened-cheeks and questioned-virtue disguised innocence no more.
Under powered wigs and collared shirts, blooms the arrogance of man.
Amongst forked tongues and righteous beliefs...lies and deception began.
To avoid one's own ruse and sin, fingers point in false direction.
Confession leads to salvation with the court's and God's protection.
A blackened heart, hidden within a little girl's charade of tears.
The guilty avoid disdainful acclaim, playing on people's fears.
Blind to innocence, the die is cast against foe and even friend.
God-fearing souls - at the mercy of one girl's game of make-pretend.
Selfish hopes and dreams inspire worldly gains and personal glory.
To every bent ear...loose lips conjure a fabricated story.
Good names were besmirched; suspicion focused an eye on one and all.
Judged by Bible-toting members of society who stood tall.
The cry of witchcraft...a frozen accusation on many lips.
Guilty by association, they stood before pointed fingertips.
With buckled, high-heel shoes they walked cobblestone roads with heads held high;
Seeking out the devil and his consorts...based on one stupid lie.
Farther inland they rode with horses, dragging their cart of accused;
Soon to face the girls they had allegedly frightened and abused.
Hoping to crush a confession from the guilty...with giant boulders.
Walking a double-edged sword...a forced lie weighted honest shoulders.
They tried innocent folk with any evidence they could produce.
Without a confession...the guilty would swing from the hangman's noose.
Searching for the ladder to Heaven...clinging to the bottom rungs,
But God will filter those with shriveled hearts and lying, blackened tongues!
Souls were compromised...lives were lost...without a rational excuse.
While the truly guilty watched them swing...swinging from the hangman's noose.
Copyright 2006 - Sheila Roy
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|Reviewed by Elizabeth Russo
|A subject that fascinates me, as well. I visited there myself, but came away with no clear answers, and probably even more questions. Wonderful write on a mind-boggling time in history. ~Hugs, Elizabeth|
|Reviewed by Felix Perry
|I must have missed this one when I was in hospital for it is truly one of my favorites of yours. I have visited Salem after reading many books on it and seen not only the museum and the graveyard and you do the poor souls so unjustly persecuted in the name of religion so many years ago justice. Well written and complete.
|Reviewed by Keith Rowley
|Very evocative. The final lines bring to mind Led Zeppelin's 'Gallows Pole'. The flow of the work actually dragged my mind to Bush trying Iraq in abstentia and sending so many to their deaths, whilst all the while the horror of thw witch trials played out through your verses.
Very, very good. Your style and voice are your own. Penetrating identification of evil.
|Reviewed by Elizabeth Price
|Beyond brilliant. Excellent imagery. Tight phrases filled to the brim and overflowing with exciting details. Salem witch trials. Of course they would hang mostly innocent. Exceptional. LIz|
|Reviewed by Regis Auffray
|Judged by Bible-toting members of society who stood tall.
Very well told, Sheila. Sadly, things have not changed all that much; they are just more "camouflaged." Thank you. Love and best wishes,
|Reviewed by richard cederberg
|Exceptional! The premise and imagery, the content and emotion, flow in this as warm honey. A pleasure to read. You've been given a gift, and you are operating in it exceptionally.
"Under powered wigs and collared shirts, blooms the arrogance of man."
Oh my Sheila ... how this image/type has morphed and evolved over the centuries. Still alive and well and ready to destroy on so many levels. Never rest your quill!
Blessings and Light ...
|Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner
Richly imaged, you take us to an uncomfortable time in history. Well done.
(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
|Reviewed by Walter Jones
|Easy to the ear, verse full in images, a write pulling and tugging, color and art, exceptional.. Walt|
|Reviewed by Jeanette Cooper
|What a wonderful introduction for your book. You've captured the period and the mood. I liked the line: "Under powdered wigs and collared shirts, blooms the arrogance of man." A descrptive write and well done.|
|Reviewed by Paul Berube
I'm very impressed with your writing my friend. Your style captures the heart and soul of the reader. I love the rhyme and flow of this poem. Very interesting subject matter and a pleasure to read. A definitely damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. If one denied the accusation he/she was hanged and if one admitted to it he/she was hanged. Quite a no win situation. Good Luck with the book and all your endeavors, you deserve it. Blessings Always, Paul.
|Reviewed by Amor Sabor