Robert C. Merriman
In night dungeon dark
The old gods rise,
Skulk phantasmal from jungle dim,
In silent voices cold,
Demand their bellies be filled.
You wait, silent as the gods.
You know they are there.
In the distance, a flare pops,
The sound soft, like one of those
New Year’s Party noisemakers
You pull the string from,
And colored confetti spews into champagne glasses,
Onto cleavaged gowns and rented tuxedoes.
Revelers ooh and aah when the confetti spews,
And laugh, even though they have
Whiz-bangs of their own.
The flare swings slowly,
Back and forth, repeats the movement,
Small parachute catching a small wind.
Chemicals burn bright,
Drip scraps of fire in darkness.
In the flare’s bright light,
Shadows of trees dance and sway,
And between the shadows
Must be those who follow the old gods,
Those who would fill empty bellies.
It is a frightening sight,
A flare dancing in the night.
The flare dims:
Last bits of chemical light
Burn into dark death.
This time, only the flare dies.
The old gods grow quiet
When the night flares with light.
Return of darkness
Brings their cold, silent growls.
Their bellies remain empty,
But there will be other nights.
This the old gods know.
©Copyright 1994 by Robert C. Merriman