poor devil

i met the devil once
laying prostrate
by the side of the old railway
that used to move grain
in cars now set in fields
rusty and ablaze with
the most beautiful graffiti

and i said

“hey ol’ Satan man
why you down and cryin
on the cold hard ground
when there’s trouble to be making
the whole world round?”

and he just looked up
from his ashen scorched place
in gravel along the steel and ties
and spoke in his sad, parched way

“what use, oh my, oh me,
what use is is a devil like the one you see
when the evil you and your kind spin
o’erwhelms the mountains
when the horror you and your kind spin
burn away the clear and blue sea
what use, oh my, oh me,
for me, for me?”

and i tried to cheer him with a lent hand
and maybe the shade of a branch
pulled from yonder silvery birch stand
but he would none of it take, and stood
and with one last heaving cry
he clippity-clopped and ran
trailing flaming tears and small hoof prints
burnt into the wild and grabbing earth

“here now,” i shouted after him,
“here now, there’s a poor devil you
that cannot out-evil my kith and kin;
there’s a sad goat-soul that cannot
find even a small bless-ed hate to let in”

 

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