The Devil’s Hole
The cave roof was crushed
by the Devil’s clumsy cloven hoof
in an age when he strode alone
before any humans
crossed this granite coast.
Now he summons nature’s pretty forces.
in petty tortures of tourist folk
before they go below to roast.
High jinks and pranks, for the most.
All gods, good and ill,
long ago abandoned this playground.
Leaving him free to plot and scheme
with deviant-schoolboy skills,
to fill with hornets and wasps
and overspilling with other niggling things.
Willing molehills to rise up
and drilling cunning little gullies
to trip or trap (or maybe kill)
the silly walker.
The gorse pricks hikers’ shins
while his remorseless horsefly angels lurk
in the thick bracken
waiting to partake
in their nefarious horseplay:
to sink deep their fiendish hooks,
lock on to bare skin and tear flesh,
sucking the wellspring
of fresh, crimson, human blood,
injecting acid-sharp saliva
to deliver the searing sting
and swell the sickening, itchy ring.
Around this whole domain
the weather remains under his control,
an eerie rain cloud
casts a scary stain
over the compressed and folded terrain.
Is it that,
or the sinister, cold gust
causing unexpected cocaine-shivers
through the old veins?
The slick granite trail,
by strolling boot-soles,
is greased by a sneaky sharp shower.
Shining with a slippery,
luring the frail and unsurely footed
into his funnelled hole,
with the pure, mean guile
of some obscure insectivorous plant.
Then, with the vilest smile
(aside, to his fawning crowd)
he tears a gash in the cloud
baring the burning ultraviolet power
of the sun’s proud apotheosis.
Blistering bald heads,
exposed shoulders and
gross bulbous noses.
He howls out loud.
It’s not just physical mischief afoot here.
Mind-games are set to test the wits.
Sheer, precarious cliffs
dare the plucky, unaware rambler.
Submitting to the spirit of adventure
they scramble to the foot of the pit.
Forever ensnared there
in eternal despair.
Where God doesn’t care one itsy-bit
and the Devil doesn’t give a shit
(not his job to be fair).
Their prayers submitted up
through the hole’s brackish air
will never be answered,
their souls will never be spared.
How the hole resonates
with the Devil’s clear,
this crumbled cave.
The round blowhole booms,
the ground quakes,
with Satan’s obscene bellowing
between each pounding
The gulls’ faraway keens
drown in a sonic grave.
For some god’s sake save us.
All this mean sea
in shades of blue and grey and green
but oddly, in the Devil’s Hole...
not one drop of water can be seen.
© lawrence reed 2022