THE DEVIL'S TABLE
Beyond the realm of human sight
Where daylight struggles with the night,
A banquet served for guests reborn
On tables carved from twisted thorn―
Each draped in linen, soiled and torn
And monogrammed with hoof and horn
Where candles flicker with delight,
Confounding with uncertain light.
Each place is set with polished knives
For spreading strife in others’ lives,
But not a smear of shame impugns
Reflections cast in silver spoons,
And forks adorned with ancient runes
Pierced through the planets, stars, and moons
To change the trouble time contrives
Until no faith in God survives.
Surrounding sheets of flame reveal
Foul shadows often deemed unreal―
The fire roars…
The thunder claps…
The Golden Rule abruptly snaps…
Fond memories of blessings lapse…
Old habits rise as tempting traps…
Alas! The dark cannot conceal
The entrées of this hellish meal.
Stale platitudes and tired clichés
Are heaped on tarnished serving trays,
While tongues are loosened to malign
With bitter dregs of jealous brine,
And tepid mixing bowls combine
Some half-baked truths with softened spine
To marinade raised hands of praise
And boil salvation as they braise.
To drown the scent of fragrant prayer,
The stench of gossip fills the air;
In candy dishes, thick with flies,
Squirm lying tongues and haughty eyes
Beside some pompous sheepskin pies
Which make men smart but seldom wise,
Then finger bowls of thick despair
Are offered as a final snare.
The wine is spilled upon the bread
As blazes fade for those misled
Until the light is quite diffused
Which leaves the frightened guests confused
With famished faiths and egos bruised…
…Yet not one prays to be excused…
Stand firm! The righteous never dread
The banquet of the living dead.
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