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.


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Laurence Thompson is a poet, screenwriter, independent scholar and essayist based in Liverpool, England.