I am a fan of E.A.Poe – and my own verse lead to my nickname becoming “Raven” back when I was heavily into the motorbike scene. The guy who named me “Raven” was one of my closest friends (Ryan “Ox” Brown) – and he sadly passed away well before his time.
As a mark of remembrance to him I officially took “Raven” as my middle name. Most people knew me by the name back then anyway.
I digress… or not…. I wanted to write something with a tale to it in a similar way to Poe, and this is what I came up with many, many years ago (’95 I think). It constantly gets tweaked, and this is the latest (2008) version.
The Night of Leaves
This is a tale that must be told,
About a man, whom to the Devil sold,
A soul so twisted, this is no lie,
This tale, of how he came to die.
His day had been a little tough,
His day had been a little rough,
Though now his day had finally ended,
He was unaware of those he’d offended.
He was a corporate climber bold!
He had no fear – his heart stone cold!
But as he took his evening drink,
It was then the man began to think…
The sun had set, the light came dim,
His whisky gave a glow within,
With doors and windows bolted tight,
He settled to a restful night.
“They” were waiting in his head,
Sat by his hearth with embers dying,
Unaware that his heart was lying,
He reflected on a hard life’s work,
Aware of not where terrors lurk.
Slowly, as his eyes grew weary,
His hold on thought now getting dreary
Then a knock upon his window came!
Then another – just the same!
“It’s just a branch in passing breeze!”
He said to shadows cast by trees,
But when the knock grew slowly louder,
He sought solace in a measured powder.
“Who is there?” The man curtly said,
“At this hour I’d be in bed!”
“If not my ears that hear this knocking…
…then surely it is something shocking?”
“They” were hiding in his head,
To wait for him to go to bed.
The knocking stopped – to much relief,
Though his heart now sped beyond belief!
He poured more whisky in his glass,
And waited for his fear to pass.
Then a tone – so shrill, yet black,
Sent a shiver down his back,
Fear turned the sound to Demons singing!
He laughed! “It’s just my cell phone ringing!”
He raised his ‘phone….but still the ringing!
So reasoned he at this “Demon singing”
A siren? A siren from beyond his wall!
A car alarm – and that is all!
But then the frosted ringing stopped,
His telephone, the man then dropped…
For an image he did see,
In the shadows of a tree…
“They” were calling in his head,
Slowly filling him with dread.
He froze in horror – disbelief!
At the forms picked out in leaf,
Vividly he could recognise,
These faces, that fell before his eyes.
Then once more the knocking started!
By now the man felt quite weak hearted,
He put it down to too much spirit,
Although his fear just wouldn’t hear it.
Then again the ringing sounded!
His head spinning – quite astounded!
But now that ring was forming deeper,
Like a fan fare for The Reaper.
“Show your selves!” he screamed, he cried!
As now he’d lost all human pride,
Down on his knees he fell to pray,
As fast approached his judgement day.
Growing stronger in his head,
Faster filling him with dread.
More and more the faces came,
As slowly he began to name,
Faces that he had pushed aside,
Faces to whom he had lied.
“You betrayed us! – You destroyed us!
Just to force yourself above us!
Just a plaque upon your door –
That’s all you gained and nothing more!!!
“You can’t exist!” the man, he stuttered,
“I left you all down in the gutters!
I have the Devil on my side,
He’s the companion with whom I now ride!”
The leaf formed faces started rustling,
“You fool, for in the Devil trusting,
You have made your own death bed,
And bought the axe upon your head!”
Screaming now within his head,
Overflowing him with dread.
“Never! Never!” A frightened cry!
“You can’t tell me that the Devil lied!
He promised me wealth beyond conception,
You’re all just bitter from rejection!”
The knocking now once more did stop,
The man cast his eyes upon his clock,
He saw it reach ‘The Witching Hour’
And in his chair, began to cower.
The dull ring of Death was closer now,
To save his life he knew not how!
His heart was beating far to fast,
At such a rate, it couldn’t last…
He grabbed his chest, with all to fear,
The bell was all that he could now hear,
His final sight – all gowned in black…
With scythe, hung neatly, down his back.
Shrieking now within his head,
Overflowing him with dread,
Yes! Shrieking now within his head,
They sent him to his final bed.
They stood there, laughing, at his side,
Upon his coffin they did ride,
All along, within his head,
Now his last promotion saw him dead.
A plaque removed, an office bare,
A man once worked without a care,
He stepped on many, he aimed too high,
Paranoid guilt lead him to die…
And so my morbid tale is told,
About a man that lost his hold,
By using people that man soon fell,
Into the burning depths of Hell.
~ fin ~