Friday, 11 May 2012

Marley's Advice

You sit there and you shake
As the wind blows through your coat and makes your bones ache
Even though its June, and others
Run around in T-Shirts and on scooters, but nobody bothers you
As you sit, lost in your own head
Selfishly neglecting the external world where you fear to tread
And intellectually you know
You don't have it so bad, you're not alone on pavement with nowhere to go
But some demon of melancholy
Has nested in your soul, so you don't feel whole, not wholly
Or Holy or blessed
But merely lucky and selfish in a sense of unrest
Is that fair to assume?
You think you're the only person to exhume, and examine
The excavations of your life
When the strife you experience cuts like a knife
When it shouldn't
You could talk to your mum, or your dad, but they "couldn't
Know what its like"
But they've been there too, and so have they and so have I
You are never as alone as you feel
Its just chemicals in your mind making you unreel
Til it feels so unreal
Like you exist in some imagined kind of monochrome
Existence, like Truman's Dome
That's constructed specifically to make you feel alone
But you're not
Never forget that
No matter how far your ship sinks, or how much of a twat
You feel like. Every single person on Earth
From Wall Street suits to Aussie dudes in the surf
Has been there
You'll be up before long
And whatever the song in the soundtrack to your life is
It will lift and it will fit
It will lift
As trite as it sounds, it is true what Bob says
Every little thing is gonna be OK

Monday, 30 January 2012

I feel some alliteration coming on

An augmented array of altered arts are aligned
Bold but blistered, blue-bright becomes blind
Concurrently cascading cross clear cut corners
Down dire depths designed by disowners
Even evil evicts erasing empires
From fury-filled fighters and free-burning fires
"Good glory, good grace, goodbye and goodnight"
He heaves hourly, haughtily holding his height
Insinuate interest in intellectual ills
Just jettison jobs, as Jack joked to Jill
Kings kill krakens and knight knights for kicks
Lest ladies of leisure let loose lying lips
Most mentions of misery meet mind over matter
Not nocturnal nips, nor Nan's nosing a natter
Orangemen outing old oil oligarchs
Post-modern preaching push past public parks
Quick - quit, quite, quietly
Roars a rebellious right-wing rotter un-rightly
Stop scheming, so serious sailors set sails
To times that touch terror, then tell their tall tales
Under unanimous ultimate universes
Vowing vile vermin veer vastly on verses
What was which will, witch will with a where-o


Zed is for ZERO

Thursday, 22 December 2011

The Bones of St. Klaas - A Christmas Tale

The following journal excerpt was found in an abandoned camp at one of the most Northernmost parts of Europe, by BBC documentary makers in the summer of 2004. The camp itself was long deserted with no trace of any person remaining.

24th December 1998

I had always been an adventurous soul, with many trips to far-flung corners of the world. However, in all my travels, I have never encountered anything like the things I have seen here in the far North. I will attempt to record my experience here, although I do suspect that I will be unable to recount much of my tale without breaking down in madness and fear. I still feel so cold, deep within the marrow of my bones as I cower here in my tent, wrapped in furs. Though shivering as I am, I must record this information for any that might find these writings.

I first came to Kinnarodden in Norway as part of the second year of my PhD in order to research the climate and customs of the local population in nearby Mehamn. As I was the only post-grad student doing geographical anthropology, this was to be a solo excursion. I had explored minus temperature regions before, of course, from comparatively tropical holidays in the Alps to the three desolate weeks I spent in the Antarctic as part of a research sub-commitee. As such, I considered myself a hardy individual, well capable of surviving in relative comfort, alone in such freezing weather. I arrived in late December at 3pm in the afternoon, and the perpetual twilight this region experiences within the winter months was especially disconcerting to me. Although I had spent time in similar regions that did not experience sunlight during winter, the state of dimness and sense of frozen time was here was very eerie.

I spent the first night in a small inn within sleepy Mehamn. The elderly receptionist appeared half-asleep when I rented my room, and she moved with a sluggish pace from the ancient reception desk to the key hooks and back again without speaking a single word to me. She appeared to understand English, which was fortunate as my Norwegian was and is still incredibly weak. My room was incredibly bare, with only a mattress and dresser accompanying the small black cat that slumbered on my rug throughout my night. I slept fitfully and awoke in darkness, as was to be expected, although it was still momentarily disorienting.

That morning, I collected my rugged tent, bedroll and lantern and donning my full fur-hooded parka, goggles and snow shoes, I began to hike Northwards, partly for a chance to see the famed Northern Lights far from encroaches of human civilisation but also due to a building thirst for adventure. I also carried with me my Luger side-arm, a gift from an old army friend, meant to protect me while in the wilds of this frozen country, although it would be little use save as a method of scaring away some of the larger predators of this environment. Still, it helped psychologically as a talisman of sorts.

After some time, I discovered a sheltered grove amongst the age-old pines and decided this would be the perfect base to pitch my tent. I worked silently and swiftly, my head torch shining through the dim dusklight and illuminating my efforts, and before long I had my camp set up to my liking. I placed my research books and notes carefully inside my tent and ventured out into the surrounding copse in search of firewood. Although difficult to find dry wood in such a snow-covered locale, it is possible if you know where to look, so after approximately two hours I returned back to my camp with a healthly bundle of kindling. As I entered the clearing, I stopped suddenly in my tracks. All my previous notes and paperwork were strewn around the camp, but in a reliably orderly fashion.  A pile of research notes that I had made on the aeroplane trip here were stacked neatly to one side of the tent, while a previously-jumbled collection of photocopies were stacked in the centre of the clearing, a small rock on top to prevent the light wind from scattering them.Similarly, various other bits of paperwork were settled around the site at seemingly random locations, although all were neatly folded (where appropriate) and stacked in alphabetical order.

 Slightly shaken, I stalked around the camp site collecting all of my notes, accompanied only by the whistling of the wind through the evergreens. Resolving to put this strange occurrence to the back of my mind, I proceeded to settle down for the evening and construct my fire. Once this was done, I sat huddled close to the warmth of the flames and read through my research notes on the mythology of the region. Here were tales of trolls stalking and eating unwary travellers, along with stories of troublesome gnomes. As I read further, I came upon a legend of the "Nisser", local to these parts. Described as a sentient, larger type of gnome, the legend itself seemed to still regard them as dangerous, sometimes even deadly creatures. However, the aspect of this legend that caught my eye and made me draw breath was a description of their habit of organising lists and tidying of documents. Apparently, these mythological creatures were known throughout the province for a desire or need to organise things into lists, often labelled with a runic N or I symbol. At once, reading this settled my beating heart - clearly, some unscrupulous and bored local had decided to play a trick on me. Glancing up from my reading, I saw that indeed, a pile of notes here had broken twigs placed next to it in the shape of an N, while over on a further pile was another symbol. Pleased that my superior education had once again made me invulnerable to pranks, I merrily retired to my tent, eager to gain an early start the next morning.

I awoke in the darkness, unsure of what hour it was. It could even have been late morning, what with the general lack of daylight in the region. A brief glance at my pocket watch, however, showed that the time was 3.15 in the morning. I realised that a faint chorus of chanting could be heard over the wind outside the tent, its source hidden by the darkness and dense forest that I was in. Although unsettling, I resolved to investigate this noise, as a true scientific mind should. I quickly pulled on my furs and my thick boots and set off out of the campsite, foolishly leaving my pistol within the confines of the tent.

I followed the source of the noise through the thick copse, shaking fresh powdered snow off the branches as my feet crunched the eartn below my feet. At times, it seemed that the chanting was growing louder and therefore I was getting closer to whatever was making this sound, while at other times I felt that it was just the whistling of the wind through the branches of the evergreens towering over my head. At last, I espied torchlight in the gloom and cold of this wood, faint and flickering though it was and I proceeded to get closer to it. Something deep inside of my gut slowed my steps as I drew closer, as if I somehow knew that I was viewing something not meant for my eyes. As I crept closer to the light, I saw that it was being caused by multiple flaming torches, casting flickering shadows on the crisp white ground. And holding these torches were very small men! They could not have been taller than three feet tall, although their features were all in proportion, so to describe them as midgets would be inaccurate. They were uniformly dressed in a dull green, almost the same colour as the ancient firs that surrounded them, as well as a multitude of different hats, some cowed and dull, some pointed and brightly coloured. And all of them, together, were murmuring their haunting chant in a language I did not understand - "Jhng Hel B'helce, Jhng Hel B'helce". 

As I watched, the murmurs of this chant grew quiter, and the pace of these small men slowed, until the leader of their procession stopped and glanced in my direction. I swiftly dove to the ground, burying myself from view beneath the large overhang of a mighty pine tree and breathing heavily. After this initial shock, I realised that I had as much right to be here as these men (if men they were), so resolved to stand and confront these beings like a true gentleman. However, when I stood and brushed the dusting of snow from the front of my garment, I saw that there was no longer any trace of these people. Only their miniscule footprints confirmed that they had indeed been present not thirty seconds before. I strode over to where I had seen the leader of the procession catch my eye, and discovered a small rock at the height of my shinbone. Studying it in closer detail, I noticed what appeared to be a runic symbol carved in to the rock, appearing like an upside-down upper case J with diagonal stripes across the length of it.  I idly drew my finger across the shape, considering what it could mean, and to my amazement the rock shuddered backwards, revealing a dark hole in the ground with a miniature staircase leading down in to the depths of the earth. Knowing not why, but drawn in some nebulous way, I hunched my shoulders and squeezed in to the small aperture.

The air inside was thick with the dust of centuries, and an ancient smell rose up from deeper inside the passage. I could see nothing, but could hear the strange murmuring chant below me, sounding like it was a lifetime away. Inch by perilous inch, I crept forward through the darkness, my eyes slowly adjusting to the grim twilight of this underground cavern. After some minutes, the staircase opened up into a wider passage, allowing me to progress upright, though I was still hunched over. I could hear the distinct chanting much more clearly now, and there was a faint flicker of torchlight illuminating the passage in front of me, allowing me to spy a small opening in the rocky corridor. I cautiously rounded the corner through this opening and felt my jaw drop at the sight that my eyes were beholding.

In front of me, the small men I had followed in here were stood in a semi-circle, torches burning brightly in their hands. In the centre of their group was a large upright sarcophagus, the stone cover pried off to reveal a skeletal figure. These small beings seemed to be chanting directly at this figure and the volume of their surprisingly deep voices was increasing, as was the tempo.The figure in the coffin, for I saw now that it was a coffin, was clearly long dead, as the gaping eye sockets and sagging jaw bone testified. A tattered crimson felt hat perched on the top of the skull, while the ribcage was covered by ripped and torn pieces of crimson fabric and the yellowed leg bones fed directly in to ancient, jet black boots. As I watched in shocked awe and silence, I thought I spotted the skeletal fingers of the idol jerk in unison to the unhallowed chanting. Then they visibly curled into fists, sending a shiver of ice down my spine. Staring in terror, I felt nauseous as brownish grey muscle fibers grew on the visible bones, as the tattered red cloak and hat became more solid. My eyes were drawn up the length of the figure, my mind unable to tear them away from this vision. To my horror, the bony white chin sprouted long white hairs, growing at an inhuman speed, becoming a bushy greyish white beard. The eye sockets, previously deeper and blacker than the night above ground, now showed a bright red sparkle and I recieved the distinct impression that this unholy figure was looking at me.

At once, with the speed of a coiled viper, the now half-skeletal figure's arm shot out, its pink finger pointing directly at me. I am not ashamed to say that I ran. I ran with the speed of a hundred men, and squeezed myself back out of the opening to solid ground. No longer minding the scratches that the rough rock had caused on my face and arms, nor the heavy crunch of the snow underfoot, I sprinted back to the relative safety of my tent.

This was twenty minutes ago, and the better part of a litre of whisky has calmed me somewhat, though it has done nothing for the deep cold in my veins. I write this for anybody who cares to notice, for I doubt I shall see civilisation again. I write with one hand cradling my pistol and the other my trusty notepad. The howl of the wind continues outside, the night itself seemingly everlasting. I must be paranoid, for I can hear above the wind the sound of jingling bells...

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

A Freezing Warm Bench

Joe Kerr was cursed with a name and a mind that did not lend itself naturally to entertaining others. Instead, he was a studious soul, more focused on the study of poetry, essays and left-leaning newspapers, but even these (though he would never admit it to himself) were nothing more than affectations - a costume he put on for the benefit of others. He recognised the irony in his name, but chose not to rise to the imagined challenge and expectation. He did not want to be funny. He was a serious writer.

His father, Alan Kerr had always thought of himself as a funny man, a comedian. He did not see, or refused to see, his status as a small, misguided man. Not an evil one, but an ignorant one nonetheless. His career never took him to the heights of fame he felt he deserved, and he never appeared on stage again after a failed show at his polytechnic's talent night. However, he was consistently praised by the others in his accountancy office for his jokes about lawyers, jokes about celebrity misadventures and what he called his "jokes to infuriate the PC brigade". At least, he was consistently praised, up until the point where Mr. Gupta over heard Alan telling the one about the "towel head" and became very angry with him. This caused within Alan a deep-seated resentment of his lack of versatility in his humour, a resentment which he then directed outwardly; towards his quiet, valium addicted wife Julie, towards his dim, popular, son Wayne, but mostly to the quiet presence of Joe. And the more he berated Joe for his seriousness, and for his quiet nature, the more Joe retreated inside his own physical shell.

Of course, Joe felt awful about this, but he also considered the fact that other people had things much worse off. He had read about kids who were beaten or abused, and he read about neglected toddlers fending for themselves while their parents slept in a drug-imposed coma. Nothing of this magnitude ever happened to Joe. But still, he felt that he simply wasn't suited to this life, and reasoned that it may be better to simply try to reset everything. At best, he may be reincarnated into something more meaningful, something more designed and ready for the world at large. And at worst, he may just cease to be, and his consciousness may be scattered and lost to the indifferent universe (this is how he described it to himself, though he knew that in the event, it is very unlikely he would even notice the lack of a consciousness, much less experience the universe. Worm food, thats all he would be). He was also painfully aware that in all of his eighteen years of living, the closest he had come to a relationship to another living person was watching "Never Been Kissed" late at night on ITV2. He didn't even like Drew Barrymore.

This was why he resolved to end himself.

At this moment in time, Joe was heading to his favourite bench on the seaside promenade close to his home (incidentally, this bench was chosen as his favourite due to its location at the stony end of the beach, its exposure to the elements, and the uncomfortable steel that poked in his back through a missing slat, as all of these factors meant that he could rely on nobody else intruding on his desired privacy). He had worn his heavy black coat, as this was the start of November, and he had thrust his notebook deep into the side pocket where he rested his hand, curling his fingers around the hard cover. His other hand gripped his pen inside his other pocket, as the two inferior spare pens rattled against his white knuckles inside the same pocket. He had his head bowed against the wind as he stumbled over the zebra crossing towards the seafront, not noticing the seagull he frightened off as his striding skinny leg idly kicked the chip shop tray that was it's feast into the storm drain below the kerb. (As with many things that appear random in life, this event would cause a reaction later on in Joe's story. In fact, later this very day. You recieve this privileged information as an observer to these events, although it does shatter the illusion of an omnipresent third-person narrator such as myself. However, I feel that it is best that you have all the information now, so with that in mind, that seagull immediately took a dislike to Joe for this act, which is something to be aware of later).

As Joe walked, he considered what to add to his notebook. Since May 1st of that year, he had begun recording all ideas and notes on how people have ended their own lives, ideas from newspaper reports, ideas from films (horror, drama and quirky indie genres were good for these) and ideas from observing things around him. He felt that by recording as much data as possible regarding the act (art?) of suicide, he could then make an informed decision on how to process his own imminent removal from the gene pool with the minimum amount of fuss and pain. This wasn't a cry for help, it was simply a technical approach - research for his one big attempt, and that meant that it had to be correct. He thought about a boy in Brazil who had tied one end of a rope around his neck and the other around the family bull, before driving the bull off a cliff into the river. He thought about the Parisien woman who toppled from the Eiffel tower, an illegible note left in drying blue paint on the tower's metal. He thought about Russian farmers decapitating themselves with chainsaws and Indonesian merchants climbing into cobra pits. He thought about the many thousands of people worldwide who drank bleach, or who took pills or cut their wrists.

It was with these musings in mind that Joe trudged across the seaweed laid across the promenade, thrown up by the turbulent waves, and headed towards the solitary bench unsheltered by the abandoned ice cream hut. As he drew close, his eyes (though stinging and watery from the bitter wind) picked up a flash of red - a pillarbox red duffel coat wrapped around the figure sitting there. He contemplated stalking past the bench (his bench!), and pretending he was headed to the lifeboat shelter further up the beach, but he was suddenly filled with a sense of indignation. He had planned to come here and write, and he would damn well do so.

He drew level with the bench and threw himself down heavily on the cold wood, conspicuously not looking at the bench intruder to his left. His fingers still gripping the notebook in his pocket, he withdrew his hand and flipped to a blank page and readied his writing hand, biro gripped between his freezing blue fingers. And wrote nothing. He felt exposed, unable to bear imagined eyes upon him, watching him put words to page. He allowed himself to steal a brief glance at the figure to his left.

She was not looking at him, but at her own notebook in her hands. He noticed the softness of her fingers as she gripped her own pen, and he noticed the rosy glow on her rounded cheeks. He noticed her dark red hair tumbling over her black-framed glasses, and he noticed the deep hazel colour of her large eyes. He noticed her legs clad in thick black tights and crossed at the knee, he noticed the heavy dark boots on the end of her feet and he noticed her full red lips, pursed in concentration as she wrote. He noticed all of her in a way that he had never noticed another living being before. Her eyes flicked up to meet his for the briefest of milliseconds, and Joe quickly turned away, focusing on his own blank page in front of him. He felt his own cheeks turn a deep scarlet and tried to convince himself that it was the bitter wind causing it, and not embarassment at being caught staring at such a divine creature. Conscious of appearing idiotic not writing, Joe began to write random words in a word association pattern; "beauty", "vision", "love", "chance", "meeting". As he did so, he heard, or rather didn't hear, the scratch of her pen on her page. He didn't dare chance a look, but he briefly imagined her watching him.

"What are you writing, then?"

Her words sounded like crystals forming on a cool glass of lemonade, or of ice cracking on a frozen duck pond. This is not to say it was bad, in fact it was the polar opposite - the warmth was in the perfect coolness of her vocal chords. Her voice overpowered him and echoed in his ears, repeating the words back to him again and again. He suddenly realised that he hadn't answered. He quickly turned to face this vision sat next to him and drew in breath to reply.

It was at that exact moment that the seagull from earlier, angry at the loss of its hard-fought meal of leftover chips, took its revenge on Joe. It flew over his head, riding the air currents flowing in from the sea, calculated the precise trajectory in the recesses of it's dinosaur brain and released it's cloaca at precisely the correct moment. It paused, hovering on the air currents briefly, as it watched the white excrement spiral towards the top of Joe's head, scoring a direct hit. Satisfied, the seagull left to pursue more food.

As Joe felt the birdshit collide with his head, already seeping into his jumbled mess of hair, he choked at the sentence that was leaving his mouth. He instantly forgot what question she had asked him, and could only focus on the intense embarassment shredding his spine. Abruptly, he stood, planning to run away - this was the closest he would ever come to interacting with this fantastically beautiful creature and the universe had taken a literal dump on his image. But as he turned to leave, he felt her cold, slender fingers on his wrist.

"Sit down, you fool, you'll only make it worse." she smiled.
"You shouldn't stammer, it makes you seem nervous. You're not nervous are you?"
"A little bit, I guess"
"Well, we can cope with a little bit" she said with a wink. "I'm Sarah, who are you?"
"Um, Joe"
"OK, Um-Joe, why don't you sit down and use this tissue to clean up"

Joe looked at her other hand, proferring a small folded tissue. He gratefully accepted it and wiped off the majority of the birdshit on his head, before sinking down into the cold bench as directed. He had no idea what exactly was occurring or how to deal with this kind of thing. He scanned his internal memory banks for answers or anecdotes or facts; anything to continue the conversation, but the more he thought, the more the silence grew and enveloped them both, the harder it was to think of any conversational topic. Suddenly it came to him, she had asked him something, right?

So Joe asked "What are you writing, then?"
"Oh, just detailing the ways in which my boyfriend fucked me over. Ex-boyfriend, now I suppose."
"Oh...right. Erm, like what?"
"I'm not telling you, I don't know you."
"That's a fair point. I could just be some random person. I am some random person. I think sometimes the thing with random persons is that they might be the best persons to speak to, simply by virtue of a remote position in which to offer a different viewpoint, or...or..."
"Joe! You're rambling! As cute as it may be, I'm not telling you..."
"Oh...OK. I', think I'll..."
"...but, I do think we should go and have some coffee and cigarettes"

They stood up from the bench by the sea, and slowly walked towards the coffee shop over the windswept and puddle-strewn zebra crossing. As they walked, Joe thought about how he no longer considered it his bench, and he thought about how less than twenty minutes ago he felt more alone than anyone on the planet, and how just the fact that this person existed completely ruined his theory that life was always going to go against him. She let her fingers brush against his as they walked, and he opened his palm to encircle her soft hand. As he did so, he dug around in his pocket for his research notebook of suicides and unbeknownst to her, dropped it behind him as he walked. It bounced into a puddle as an inquisitive seagull approached.

The two of them continued walking against the wind, hand in hand.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Elephant Juice

In moments like this, when I've made a mistake
And all that's built up feels like its at stake
And it's all my fault that something felt fake
That I realise now that it makes me a snake
In the grass, as I pass by the arse end of town
Walking past revellers only makes me feel down
And I feel like a king that's destroyed his crown
Because without her the streets seem tinged brown
And faded from view, and its true what they say
You can't have it your way, if you stick with a play
That defers for a day, making this house out of papier mache
The foundation's not clay, but solid concrete
And if that concrete has a crack of deceit
You can't use it to build, and it leads to defeat
But I won't give up and I won't retreat
And if love is a war, there's no way I'm yet beat
And I'll march to this beat and this symbolic crash
I'll stride past the faces of those out on the lash
Cos I can survive without fast food, drinking or cash
And I'm walking so fast I'm the fucking Flash
I have to get there, cos she said that she needs me
And I would walk through the Black Sea, North Sea and mercy
And through deserts and tundra and darkest Chertsey
If she asked me to curtsey, I probably would
Although why that would happen is not understood
The point is whatever she wanted, I could
And should and would do, and despite this flow through
Like Dr. Seuss, unsure footing is just kind of proof
That at least theres a chance to save this, and truth
is theres nothing I wont do, and if its seen as uncouth
Then so what, fuck it, I'm still going to try
Because people like her come round once in a life
and its worth every second of trouble and strife
("That was brought on yourself", cuts my internal knife)
To fight to be with her and ever un-severed,
And never to cause upsetting endeavours
Is the motto and creed I have, is it clever?
Mais non, but its true, and what can I do
Except try to come through
And change up her whole mood
From blue all way through to warm shades of red
Implying a passion and a love in her head
And I could be that thought, not a prick instead
The thing is I've never felt like this,
About anyone else I've known to exist
And I'll pay my penance as told by this list
By now I should think that you've gotten the gist
That I would do anything
AnythingFor the chance its not broken and for one more kiss
Some idiot once said its better to love and to lose
But I just don't agree and I ask for a truce
Cos nothings more real than Elephant Juice

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

All Hallows

As this year's Halloween is drawing closer, I decided to write a small poem in honour of the supernatural beasties that fill our collective imagination around this time...

Halloween is the time of year
When spooky things come round
But calm down and quell your fear
Some weaknesses abound

The perils of lycanthropy
Like howling, teeth and fur
Can be immensely hard, you see
Especially near silver

Vampirism is much the same
A perilous state of blight
But beware, you sons of Cain
Exposure to sunlight

Zombies also have their issues
Like maggots or gangrene
And rotting of their fleshy tissue
Causes stenches too obscene

Mummies, too, are not immune
Despite their immortal state
Bandages and dusty tombs
Don't help their rotting fate

Witches choose to curse with spells
But don't escape scott-free
Cooked in ovens or drowned in wells
Soon ends a witching spree

Giant trolls with yellow jaws
That gnaw and crunch on bone
Are scary, and with good cause
But sunlight makes them stone

Goblins, gremlins and other imps
Are vicious but small and weak
Break their limbs and make them limp
Home to their cavernous peak

So have no fear, enjoy this feast
And pay these things no mind
For the most terrible, frightening beast
Is most certainly humankind

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The Most Heinous Ninth Plan From Outside The Empire's Realm

In the year of Our Lord, Eighteen-Hundred and Four
A strange thing occurred, although no-one saw
It would shake an Englishman straight to his core
Should he know things exist more deadly than war

It was a clear night in October with no fog around
And not a soul but one stirred in this dirty old town
Old Albert Foley looked suspicious and frowned
As he leant on his spade which struck the hard ground

Old Albert was a gravedigger by trade and by day
But he was poor and couldn't live on such little pay
So at night he tended to make his own way
To the graveyard gates, all withered and grey

Once there he would dig (and this he did well)
Not bothered by the grime or the dust or the smell
In search of some bones and bodies to sell
To his immoral partner, one Dr. J. Fell

Old Albert was scared but he knew in his head
That without money he just couldn't be fed
So he clung to the words that Dr. Fell said:
"Just what do they care? They're gone and they're dead"

So after a few very grim and dark nights
He calmed down a bit and got over his fright
Not once did he notice a ghoul or a wight
He thought as he sat and lit up his pipe

'Twas the same each night, just sifting through rubble
Old Al' had grown lazy and expected no trouble
But on this cold night he was shocked from his bubble
It would turn his hair white and make him see double

For on this strange night, something caught Albert's eye
A darting, un-natural light in the sky
Then another five lights joined and flew by
As Albert's pipe dropped and spilled it's insides

He continued to stare as these lights slowed down
And formed a circle quite close to the ground
They produced a really quite deafening sound
For poor Albert this noise was enough to astound

As all this occurred, time itself seemed to slow
And some of the gravestones had started to glow
An uncanny colour of greenish-yellow
'Twas then that old Albert decided to go

He shakily stood and got back on his feet
And set off for the comfort of his quiet street
But the sound started up again on repeat
Joined by a rumble beneath Albert's feet

Around him, headstones were splitting and breaking
All while continued this ominous quaking
Old Albert shivered and couldn't stop shaking
Was it a prank? Was someone just faking?

He quickened his pace and broke into a run
But he got to the gates and stood still, stunned
The realisation hit him and felt like a ton
The graveyard was locked til the rise of the sun

But as quick as they started, the tremors finally ceased
Albert turned round and savoured the peace
But the peace was short-lived, just like the deceased
Who now were awake, and by the lights were released

Albert stood in shock and hyper-aware
As movement in the darkness drew forth his stare
A gnarled, rotting limb had pierced the air
It was this sight that whitened Al's hair

He continued to watch as the bony arm rose
As the ancient grave-dirt dropped off to expose
A lewd grinning skull with no ears and no nose
That stared straight at Albert and so Albert froze

This course of action proved to be most unwise
For he was transfixed and so was surprised
By some more bony fingers digging in to his thighs
A second legless body, black and disguised

He looked down and screamed, but he was far too late
The heft of the corpse was too much, and it's weight
Dragged him down to the floor and did not abate
For this was old Albert's unwilling fate

Poor Albert was old and did not fight well
Dragged underground, this was his death knell
You may say it's a fantastical story to tell
But I know it's the truth, for I'm Dr. J. Fell

I was watching that night, and those things that I saw
Were as real as the oak that forms my front door
And those lights in the sky that I saw once before
Once again so appear and frighten me raw

For tonight what I saw
On this frozen great moor
In the year of our lord Eighteen Twenty Four
As long as I live, I will speak of no more