Sunday, December 27, 2015

Death At Midnight

Death At Midnight
© Surazeus
2015 12 26

Through foggy streets without a watch or hat,
but stuffed inside a long black tattered coat,
he stumbles forward through dark labyrinth
past broken doors that long ago were locked
against stale blustering wind of libraries,
but stops at last before huge groaning house
where ghosts of all his ancestors still live,
trapped inside paintings on foul creaking walls.

Twelve cars on winding road at midnight roar
and flash blinding beams of light in his eyes
before he opens door that has no key
and gropes through memories of whipping canes
while muttering stock verses from old black book
his father always thrust before his face,
demanding that he memorize proverbs
that indicate his wretched state of sin.

Bright angels from large painting on black wall
descend on beams of light from swirling clouds
and sprinkle fairy dust in long gray hair
that hangs in bland despondent fear of hope
about his pudgy scarred cheek when he smiles
at sight of wrinkled father by fire hearth
who trembles as he stares at cold gray ash
then shrieks, "At last I see there is no God!"

Sharp blade of hatred in his trembling hand
glitters red from some stray lost beam of light
that pierces midnight clouds through dirt-smudged glass
when half-blind librarian, heart beating wild,
leans forward close to face of his old father
and sneers, "I would rather you still believed
so you know you will burn in flames of hell.
What meaning is there to this wretched life?"

Bright light from open-faced filming lamp beams
gold rays that illuminate hall of death,
then movie director steps forward quick
and pats his shoulder with pondering frown,
stroking thin pale lips as he contemplates,
then smiles, "Remember that your character
despairs of finding love he hopes to find,
so express grim horror with aching growl."

Stepping back into blue shadows, he gestures,
then camera on elevated beam glides
slowly forward for close-up of his face
as he grips collar of his wretched father,
who widens gray eyes at sight of his face,
and growls with voice of demon from deep hell
who despises all that is good and sweet,
"What meaning is there to this wretched life?"

Bulging his eyes as if he crawls from gloom
after lurking in abyss of despair
ten billion years beyond death of last tree
that once blossomed with sweet nutritious fruit,
he grizzles, "We are born into this world
with divine soul trapped in body of dust,
then soar high with passionate love and joy,
yet sink low with gut-wrenching hate and fear.

Without God there is no evil or good
for what you think is good, whipping my back
for kissing the cute daughter of our cook,
I think is evil, and yet what you think
is evil, giving her a pretty pink dress,
and kissing her soft sweet apple-red lips,
I think is good, but you twisted our love
with hatred, and destroyed all I love well.

Now you will think it evil that I thrust
this blade of justice into your gray eyes
and stab out the grim hatred of your soul,
but I will think this act of patricide
good and just, whispered in my aching ear
by Gabriel who came on favonian wind
to urge I destroy evil of your soul
so Krampus may drag you down into hell."

Lunging forward as his old father screams,
he freezes, keeping his face twisted weird
with seething rage while assistants appear
to roll wheelchair bearing actor away,
then push wheelchair bearing life-size doll forth,
and when director gestures he stabs knife
deep into eyeball that bursts streams of blood
which squirts all over his black tattered coat.

Lights flash on after director yells, "Cut!"
then everyone laughs and claps with delight
as they change costumes for normal street clothes,
wash off make-up, then exit theater,
and walk together in late evening rain
to local pub where they order cold beer
and hamburgers, smoke cigarettes, share jokes,
and sing folk songs long after sunset hour.

Through foggy streets with glowing watch and hat
pulled low, he stumbles dark cobblestone streets
past gleaming glass of storefronts to dark home,
then sits by cold hearth to stare at bright star
that pierces midnight clouds through dirt-smudged glass
and mumbles, "Though I cannot find good part
playing Hamlet, Caesar, or Macbeth,
at least I am earning enough to live."

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