A jar of paint-thick blood and mire
To wet an oxen’s head
A finger blackened by the fire
And pressed against the red.
A mask of white upon the fool
Who stares up from the feast
A couple fleeing with their mule
But cannot move the beast.
A troupe of lepers skate on past
Facades a smiling crust
They burn to join in black repast
With this parade of lust.
The Duke of Blangis takes the mic
To act as our MC
And leads the dance of worm and shrike
A madman’s wise decree.
The bishop’s drunk on holy wine
He backwards rides a hog
And extols Satan’s grand design
Equal for man and God.
The banker, aproned, wields the blade
For splitting piggy’s skull
It’s there that num’rous dreams are made
That justify the cull.
The judge a black-edged gavel thuds
Upon a chair of thorns
His court the bleach-bone aspen woods
His bracken throne adorns.
And so each fiend his want fulfils
Within this bleak routine
An autumn flavoured hell instils
A dreamless heart’s demesne.
Laurence Thompson is a poet, screenwriter, independent scholar and essayist based in Liverpool, England.