And the tale is told around winter fires
of the Desolate Time when the day of the antichrist dawned.
The demon tramped towards his throne
greedy for ice cold ingots and adoration from the masses.
And there was no Christ to convert him to gentleness
and God was dead – if He had ever lived.
Toxic trumps turned clean air fetid
and noxious fumes hung trapped in vile inversion layers.
This topsy-turvy world saw violence thrive
and human virtue scorned and suffocated.
Cocks pressed against non-consenting thighs and
hungry mouths gaped unfed in war zones.
In quiet corners women men children
bewildered scared asked, ‘How did these things come to pass?’
each heart each mind had only wanted to survive.
The Demon King heard whispers of dissent and
ego-wounded he raged, cruel-minded
he banished free-thought free-will and every art.
In the hush of mid-winter warmed by firelight
storytellers say the King was mad man-god or man-made god
empowered by desperation from lives ruined emptied
by self-satisfied well-heeled blesséd ones.
Against the tide small flames gathered
in human hearts and hands grasped other hands.
Secret signs of love and care were shared
away from storm-trumping eyes. Behind closed doors songs were sung,
poems recited and clean notes plucked from ukulele strings.
Common cauldrons heavy with hot sustaining food
were carried to tables where neighbours gathered together
disregarding their many differences.
When his Highness arrested at last
aided some say by hemlock few tears were shed save of relief.
Wisdom over-wintered in the darkness
led the hearts of those who had survived.
Lest we forget lest we forget
we are our sisters’ brothers’ keepers.