Captured and shackled by the Devils of Night
a tattered rag on my eyelids to cut off the light
a spear in my side, crude instructions to walk
I try to call out but I’m unable to talk
in the furrows of my forehead, sweat starts to collect
I know not where I am—or where I’ll be next
a spear in my side, crude instruction to stop
the rag is torn off, I plead enough, enough
But of course they can’t hear me
And the rays hurt my eyes
I look at clay ground and think
here’s where I die
With a cavernous mouth, And a rumbling voice
Their Leader commands me, chin up boy, play nice
Here’s what I need, and here’s what you’ll do
And you’ll do as I say, if you want to live through
These people need Truth: Science and Logic
They need substance and spirit, Not found in their markets
So go out on that stage, that we’ve set up all special
And preach the learned gospel, for they only know Devils
With that I was shoved onto a meager wooden stage
As I stumbled and stepped, the old bark creaked with age
Glancing around, I saw the most curious of sights
The land was now dark, sans a few glowing lights
television screens, maybe three, four, or five?
Illuminating the faces of the townsfolk outside
Squinting brought into focus a horror
That no words can convey
These people were corpses, their faces decayed
Sullen were their eyes and rotten was their flesh
The greyish pale skin tone, the sick smell of death
Their heads stuck in place, their minds limp and drear
the monitors placate them, shamble and shear
A spear in my side, crude instructions to talk
I try to start preaching, but my words are all wrong:
Good evening all Peoples, Of this great arid land
Indeed I’m a scientist, but I am also your friend
I’ve been brought here to tell you
About the wonders of knowing
But I’ve been brought without props
So I’ll instruct without showing
Look at the sky, see the white stars?
See that odd red one? That one’s called Mars.
And instead of a star, that ones a planet
It once looked like Earth, but now it’s barren and stranded
And we know well it’s orbit, in fact amazingly so
First tracked by a man with the first name Tycho
Who in turn gave his plots to a genius called Kepler
And out popped equations, for knowing orbits better!
So you see, my poor people, prisoners of this place
Brothers and sisters of the dying–disgraced
Here I’ve been brought to spread the word of Light
So step forward now, those who reject the Night!
But only one did.
A young corpse, she approached with unease
Looking up with wistful eyes she asked
“Mister, won’t you please leave?
Momma and poppa and me
we all need our screens.
They make us so happy, and you sound so mean!”
My eyes locked with hers as she gazed up at me
And I woke up in terror, with hot tears on my cheeks
I sat up without breath, my eyes taut and wide
I cast off my blanket, and pulled apart the blinds
The window reflected a corpse
Looking in from outside