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December 05, 2022

The Graveyard Gate

By Dan Mulhollen

I stand outside the graveyard gate,
And wonder if I'm tempting fate,
by being there so very close to midnight.
My senses say I ought to hide,
But something's drawing me inside,
something that dares never be out in daylight.

I find myself inside a cell,
With steps that lead straight down to hell,
a putrid stench rises up from the fire.
With fearful steps I do descent,
Fearing that my life will end,
among those buried in their own desire.

I hear the rattling of the chains,
And hear the shrieks of those in pain,
writhing on the racks of their creation.
Yet I can see once in a while,
Their anguished faces show a smile,
and rise above the shame of indignation.

I passed a shape bound to the floor,
And thought I knew her long before,
a passing fancy from days now quite misty.
I asked if we did ever meet,
She freed herself, rose to her feet,
she smiled, and leaned forward, and then kissed me.

She said "I'd been to heaven for
A long while, found it a bore,
So pure and dull I could no longer take it.
Then I transferred down to this waste,
And found it much more to my taste,
heaven and hell, you see, are what you make it."

And then the Devil did appear,
He said, "You should not be down here,
this is our place, not open to the living.
Be glad I'm in a better mood,
Or you'd be my breakfast food,
Usually I am not this forgiving."

And then he added, "By the way,
I do have one more thing to say,
might you provide me a little toil?
When you can, don't hesitate,
Go back to that graveyard gate,
and give it a healthy dose of oil?"

Article © Dan Mulhollen. All rights reserved.
Published on 2011-04-25
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