The beast rode in masquerading as a child
on a monstrous worm with the face of bad news.
The fish who liked to splash at the surface
stayed close to the bottom and hovered in place.
The birds who would start each day with a song
sat silent and refused to look in each other’s face.
Some leaves on the ground which had already fallen
flew back up in the air and clung to the tree trunks.
As if in a trance all the people lay sleeping
curled up in glass caskets on an altar of emptiness.
Though they’ve fallen in love with the fragrance of midnight
some might still trade the moon for a fresh dawn bouquet.
Before any such preference can ripple the mind pond
a thousand sad ghosts will have gathered to pray.
They may open their mouths and cry out to heaven
but the beast will not cease until it’s had its day.
(Painting by Simone Vela)