The Adversary

In shaken aftermath, you coin a term.
Encompassed by the peace of newborn day,
We’re driving, reconciling, and
Attempting to dissect our long night’s
The word, description, put-together
Frankenstein of grimy and of primal,
Perfectly articulates
How “grimal” we all felt.
Your eyes are haunted hollows, and your smile,
Fixed in place with devastated will,
Glowing pale in morning’s daybreak light,
Is trembling at the edges like a leaf.
I miss your cheerful madness;
I miss the hum of innocence
I used to hear from you.
The club was pretty much what I expected:
Obnoxious, far too loud, and way too drunk.
None acknowledged, maybe none could see
The spiritual blood upon the floor,
Gushing from a hundred hidden wounds.
Yours bled right there with them,
Staining fabric of your soul
With crimson-bright effluvia of pain.
I kept a vigil, shrinking small
In solitary nook,
Huddled up against the industrial gale
Of that dark wasteland’s freezing blast of noise.
In misery,
Amid the tumbling souls and grinding flesh,
I saw him,
Standing there, and yet not there,
Moving back and forth between the bodies,
Concealed behind their eyes and in the lines
Of faces, beading in the drops
Of sweat that flowed in torrents from
The tortured pores of dancing prisoners.
He did not look at me, but I saw him,
And felt a bright and beautiful impulse
To kill him where he stood -
But I could not -
I could not separate him from
The souls and bodies of the lashed
And brutalized, who danced but to forget,
Who offered obeisance to any force
That could distract them from their desperation.
He was embedded in them like a cancer,
Writhing through the heart-veins of their souls
Like endless tapeworm:
Blind and deaf
And mercilessly hungry.
I stood in tongueless comprehension,
Falling in a heap of helpless tears,
For I was powerless to strike him down.
They let him in, and all my strength
Was insufficient, could accomplish nothing,
Till they resolved to throw him out again.
I saw you there, his steed, among the others,
And as we drive in saving light of day,
I weep for you, and wish that I could hold
Your heart in hands,
And rock it safely down to sleep
In holy quietude.


  • Lorna

    This blows my mind. Your poems are not only wonderful but so crystal clear even when intense. To me you are the master! This reads like a play.....

    • themerrypapist

      Lorna, you're always so kind! Thank you very much for reading my stuff, and especially for liking this one. :)

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