Like many men I sigh to hear of Prisoners of War,
Those captives of the horseman clothed in red,
And I weep for those who’ve travelled through the fearsome and dark door,
To join the pale horseman of the dead.
It saddens me to think upon the slaves of fetid Famine,
Whose hunger will claim many more lives hence,
But today I sing of those I see suffering each day,
Those hallowed and sickly Prisoners of Pestilence.
His fingers, sweating freely, reach in through the door,
And poison the air, the food on the table, still polluting more.
Coughing and streaming and dying inside,
They call to the white horseman of the final ride.
He is cancer, he is suffering, he rides upon a breath,
Passing on his victims to the pale horseman Death.
If clotted vein or bleeding lung haunt your residence,
Allow me to express my woe, oh Prisoner of Pestilence.
His voice a hacking cough, his breath a feeble wheeze,
He dances in the cesspit, in the mould upon the cheese,
Leaps up onto the hand and creeps under the nail,
Ready to withstand any weak attempt to assail
He who lingers in the hospital, the plague-pit and the grave;
None can hope to stand before him, none he hates will e’er be saved.
So bow your head to this towering beast, both sallow and immense,
Kneel to the riding prince, oh Prisoner of Pestilence.
Today I start off a quartet of poems based on the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. I hope that you enjoy them, though they are very different in subject to my normal work.
The Hapless Neo-Romantic