David Lewis Paget

Gold Star - 9,373 Points (22.11.1944 / Nottingham, England/live in Australia)

Holy Smoke! - Poem by David Lewis Paget

He laid no claim to a perfect life,
Nor looked to a higher power,
‘He lived his life, ’ said his seventh wife
‘At a hundred miles an hour.’
And those he bruised as he hurtled by
Were the first in defending him,
‘He didn’t live by our man-made rules
But those he defined within.’

There were some that said he was selfish,
And some that said he was cruel,
Those with the backward collar he
Devoured, and used as fuel.
He couldn’t stomach the hypocrite,
The ones that would have you pray,
‘If there is a god, I’ll give you the nod,
You wouldn’t be here today.’

There wasn’t a woman could tame him down
Not a concubine, nor a wife,
He wore out many an eiderdown
In living a lustful life.
He lived as the rest of us should live
In a type of joyful surge,
And carried us all along with him
With our inhibitions purged.

He set a pace that would burn him out
As his strength and youth declined,
But railed and ranted against the force
That made him a prey to time.
‘I’ll not give in, it would be a sin
To deny in my final breath,
A life that’s sailed too close to the rail,
That’s an ignominious death.’

He swore that he’d find a way to show
That death only set you free,
As he laid his head on that final bed,
Here’s what he said to me:
‘Just watch that picture over the hearth
Of me, when the world was young,
I’ll make it fall from the chimney wall
If the sting of my death’s undone.’

And so he died in his earthly pride
Then went to his funeral pyre,
I told my wife, ‘there’s another life
Devoured in the flames and fire.’
I didn’t believe that he could survive
On the strength of his will alone,
But went away to the wake that day
They held in his childhood home.

His friends were milling about the house
And drinking his cellar dry,
While I stood pensive before the hearth
And asking the question, why?
When a sudden crash on the cobbled hearth
Saw his picture fall from the wall,
The shattered glass from his grinning face
Went showering over all.

It must have been a coincidence
I said, and the wife agreed,
‘We’ll have to go to the cemetery
To prove that he’s there, indeed.’
We waited just on a week to go,
It rained, and the grave was soaked,
But pouring out from his headstone there
Was a plume of Holy Smoke!

5 August 2015

Topic(s) of this poem: horror

Form: Ballad

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, August 5, 2015

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