The Devil’s Banquet

This shiny colourful globe that rotates in space;

Who rules the roost.

Is it the knowing and the loving,

Or the greedy and the murderous?

 

The Devil’s holding a banquet

And he has got a lot of friends

There’s always the same guest list

No matter what century, the uniform’s still exist

 

Denizen’s of wealth, policy and subordination

Met at a table under a red moon

Ready to boast of their recent triumphs

Victuals laid out lavishly, more than enough

 

Its become somewhat of a tradition

This moonlight escapade

Salivating over tales of their bloody exploits

That keep their power in reign

 

The main course is lamb and cocaine

Cutlets get sliced and chewed

Lines get sorted and snorted

As the clink of cutlery secedes

 

The Devil clap’s two pale hands

To which he stands, arms spread to his lads

“Now then you fickle lot, are you have beens or have nots

Who will stand and give us talk of their most evil lot”

 

A Priest, in ceremonial garb rises with a meaty smile

He stares about the room, his cross glinting in the gloom

He clears his throat of wine, it is time

To hear tales of wickedness and deceit

 

“I have ensnared the weak and fearful, poisoned to get to this position,

Corrupted an innocent idea for my own malicious tuition

Through years of scheming and wrongful achieving

My brethren have dined out on humanity’s believing”

 

In deities that never were, these stories did never exist

Only this Devil, sitting right here before us, and the lies he did twist

Have we managed to perpetuate this, our craving for power

To lock ourselves up, with gold and wickedness, in our Ivory tower”

 

These words were greeted by respectful applause and happy eyes

Of those dining with the Devil, and all their deceit and lies.

Next stood a man with a pencil mustache and black suit, it was his time,

To tell the haughty crowd, of his most delectable crime.

 

“I have schemed and loaned to the poorest of the poor,

When they cannot pay back I have kicked them out of their own door,

Seized that which wasn’t mine, delivered misery to a gluttonous score

Dined with my treasure, kept adding to my hoard, and used many a young whore.”

 

“When my gold was enough I paid off the judges and kept politicians in my pocket,

Told lies for profit and used society’s conjunctures to strangle the single market,

Designed fiscal policy to ensnare the peasants into servitude, evil at its most darkest!

All the while I remained the coyest”

 

 

So the last man stood with a bowler hat and a smoking cigar,

While the devil looked on, ready for more.

He was the leader of a country, voted for by its people,

War mongered and silenced the peaceful.

 

“Firstly, I would like to say to the designers of dread,

Thank you for your clever heads,

Taking us down paths that only we can tread.

I followed your lead and became a disease.”

 

“I masqueraded as hope, the savior of lives,

But all I did was take payment, authority and deprive

While my friends here, pulled the strings, and taught me how to smile

As the people succumbed to the charm, without question of my beguile”

 

And so the Devil rose, as tears rolled down his hollow cheeks,

He applauded and exclaimed at the stories so bleak,

 

“I am happy my lads, that you have kept up this charade,

It’s why I invited you to this most profane parade

To history you will not fade,

Your kin will play the same game, wickedness they will braid.”

 

“I bid you goodbye, for this is the one and only occasion,

Once a generation this here banquet will be laid.

Raise the next one as the same, otherwise your debt won’t be paid,

And to my home, you will be slain.”

 

The Devil held a banquet,

Solely the powerful came,

Until next time,

Where the wicked come to dine.

 

© Jack Nugent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Death Under The Bridge

Down beneath the stone bridge he sat, his head bowed against his chest. Mist rose from the water to lap at his boots in lazy curls. Three alcoves the bridge had underneath it, and he sat in the middle one, on a patch of dirt, just above the water line propped alongside the damp, mossy wall. For now the water was low and he was safe but when the high tide came he would be washed away by the currents.

Either alive or dead. For how long he had sat there he did not know, his body was bruised and broken. A great pain in his ribs made it difficult to breath and bubbles came out his mouth when he did. His knee was broken, he could tell that much and his right arm didn’t want to move, laying limp by his side. He watched the dark river water lap at his fingertips but he couldn’t feel it, his whole arm was numb, it felt strange, like he wasn’t his self and must’ve had an awful lot to drink, however he couldn’t remember doing anything of the sort.

A panic rose from his gut but its adrenalin couldn’t help, he lifted his left hand and with it, inspected his head. A lump the size of an egg grew out of the back of his bald noggin, covered in congealed blood. Lamenting at his situation as the acquiescence of death set in, an image of his wife appeared in his mind, he tried to cry but had forgotten how. He hadn’t cried for over fifteen years, not since his first day as a carpenter’s apprentice, when he hit a nail straight through his thumb, so he screwed up his face and wailed, silently. The pain in his chest soon stopped the wailing, fear gripped him like it never had before, and he could not compare it to anything he had feared before. This fear came from within, from somewhere deep down, from somewhere primal and animalistic, it was the fright of death.

Shock was beginning to set in, and mortality was not far behind. A man’s whistle cut clean through the mist, and suddenly someone jumped down into the alcove from the bridge.

“My my, what do we have here then, a right mess by the looks of it, they touched you up good and proper, my little pinchpenny” the stranger declared.

The dying man looked up groggily and tried to focus his eyes on the man who just jumped down, to join him by the water. Hope rose in his punctured chest, he was saved!

The stranger bent down, and with his hands went through the bewildered man’s pockets, which is not what our bridge dweller presumed, and not too kindly either. Pain shot everywhere. The stranger grabbed him by the collar and pulled him close, so close he was inside the brim of the stranger’s hat. He could see the man’s unkempt facial hair and rotting teeth, acidic breath filled his nostrils.

“What did you tell them?” The stranger shook him roughly.

 

The dying carpenter moaned in reply.

 

A gloved hand slapped his cheek, hard.

 

“What did you tell them?”

 

Another moan.

 

“You useless sack of shit, you can barely hear me I’m guessing, pain must be bad” The accoster sighed and continued

 

“It’s not your fault, mind, I’ve arrived too late to get what I need from you” he said as he shook his head.

 

“Bastards, probably didn’t think I would find you, either way, you’re fucked, and I need to take my leave” and with that, the hatted man took himself off, climbing back up to the bridge.

 

The water was rising, tide was coming in and within a matter of hours the tide would take him, his body food for the fishes. The only place that he would still live would be in his wife’s memory.