The Flagellant

At midnight’s pass, I storm the distant hills

overlooking my sleeping village

where the cattle come to pasture

To begin my bloody ritual.

 

Bareback I take my whip

Nine heads in all.

I swing their razor tips

And strike my weary flesh.

 

Once, twice, three times

Welts like rivers split

Their visceral nectar pouring

Welling about my feet.

 

Then darkness comes alive

Devils from the farthest reaches

Of hell and beyond

Follow the scent of iniquity.

 

Their merry jig circles about me

Depraved and beastly

Lapping up the sanguineous pools,

their hunger never quite sated.

 

Once I was a holy man

Bleeding for my God

Never did I see the draw

To please such a crowd!

 

At first, it was so painful

I could only spare a little

Now with my back so rigid

I Can bleed the night away!

 

The Demons used to worry me!

Now they are my friends!

Bleed, drink, be merry!

Take away all my sins!

 

They mutter such praises!

They lust for my taste

Cheering, snarling joyously

Celebrating my pain.

 

Darkness be my day,

Madness my new reason.

Devil’s dance

come to pasture!

 

Once, twice, three times a week!

Every bloody sin

Red like ruby

Cherished by them like gold.

 

In the morn when I am spent

My raw wounds beneath a shirt

Passersby can only see

A simple farmer in the daylight.

 

The cows will come to pasture

lapping up the emerald hills

blood and grass intermixed

a delightful, visceral meal.

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