The Jews are since long back in Zion,
and along with the Holy Roman Empire,
They witnessed the comet in the sky,
As it approached and divided mankind,
Turning them against each other.
Savage beasts in human form roamed the land,
killing the unborn and feeding on the dead.
This was a battle that could not be won.
At long last we prayed –
Humanity’s last stand.
A thundering light broke the bleeding sky in two,
Some hailed him saviour, some called him the devil.
It was on that dark night he appeared in the sky,
What we thought would be our final hope,
Became our last goodbye.
The horsemen rode the sky,
leaving nothing but dust beneath.
The scorched earth proved lethal to all life.
As the roaring hooves approached – my soul appeared,
and put me in a daze where memories became real.
“These are our actions –
These are our regrets”
Suddenly it all became clear to me,
What I saw was not myself.
“Who am I, where am I from, why do I exist?”
Suddenly I was married to silence.
A bright flicker ahead called to me,
There was nowhere else I could go.
So I swam into the jaws of the beast,
And learnt of his supreme judgement.
My fate was to forever worship the flames.
But this was expected after all,
For I lived in a society that refused to believe.
One sacrifice can only atone for so many sins – even if the lamb was holy.
Your fate has already been sealed – There is nothing you can do to escape judgement.
This poem is a lot darker than many of the others I write – which tend to be light hearted and humoristic. The reason for this is because this poem is an ekphrasis inspired by Albrecht Dürer’s painting “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” The finished poem was both a result of both observing the painting itself, but also from listening a lot to Iced Earth, namely the Something wicked saga (“Framing Armageddon” and “The Crucible of Man“) and the song “Damien” (direct inspiration for the poem title) found on the “Horror Show” album.
The first part of the poem shows the start of the apocalypse and how the Anti-Christ descends from the heavens. The second part focuses on the individual human, his reaction to the day of reckoning, and the divine judgement given to him by God.
Personally, I feel this poem is not as clean as some of my other poems. I think it is because even though it is a prose poem – it more closely resembles the type of prose I write, both in terms of style and content, and thus fell in-between two chairs – so to speak. What do you readers think? Is it as good as the other poems? Why, why not? (These questions are mainly rhetorical since I highly doubt anyone will actually comment. But who knows!)
– F H Hakansson