THE STORY OF JOHN SMITH by Bruce Davies
 
This is the story
Of the great John Smith
Man of adventure
His legacy and myth
 
John Smith was daring
John Smith was so brave
John Smith knew some things
That he took to his grave
 
He’d been to the West
He visited the Poles
And seen the Far East
He’d near travelled the globe
 
At each place he stopped
He’d scribble a note
In a small leather book
That he kept in his coat
 
The pages were yellowed
And weathered with time
It looked so ancient
With its dust covered spine
 
The children gathered
When he’d come to town
He’d laugh as they sat
By his feet, on the ground
 
Some tales were new
Some stories were old
Some entries he said
“They must never be told”
 
Each story was good
For only one pint
The hours rolled by
Tales told through the night
 
When all the young ones
Were off to dreamland
He called to the men
With a wave of his hand
 
His face grave and grim
His hands, how they shook
He reached in his coat
And pulled forth, his small book
 
His breath came in gulps
His eyes were shock wide
With hands drippn’ wet
Pulled the cover aside
 
The men gathered near
He bade us hear well
For this story here
Was not one he’d retell
 
From dark lands he’d come
And never returned
The things he’d seen
In his mind, had been burned
 
Africa, he said
Was wonder and wild
Searched an old ruin
And he found something vile
 
An ancient statue
Far ‘neath the old stones
Altar aside it
Just littered with bones
 
In a great chalice
Held high in its hands
He found the remains
Of a young Piltdown man
 
The bones were etched
As if he’d been tied
And some even seemed
To’ve been chewed on one side
 
The strangest thing was
The bones had some flesh
It didn’t look old
But in fact, it looked fresh
 
He raised up one hand
From the rim to see
And found it covered
In a grim butchery
 
Gore, bright and crimson
Dripped wet from his wrist
It squelched just a bit
As he tightened his fist
 
Before he could leave
That primeval pit
The statue shook hard
And his hand lost its grip
 
He fell from his perch
Far down to the stone
Cracked his head open
On a giant leg bone
 
His vision was blurry
But, his ears worked fine
A scraping he heard
Seemed to come from the shrine
 
As he edged closer
The louder it grew
Mind full of questions
So then, nearer he drew
 
Behind the statue
A crack in the wall
Dim radiance came
And an unholy squall
 
Then, through the crevasse
A vision of hell
Strange creatures bounded
T’were no beasts he knew well
 
They looked like an ape
With parts from a toad
Unsettling form
That some mad god had sewed
 
He covered his mouth
Or else he would scream
On that moonless night
For the unholy scene
 
He turned from the sight
And tripped on a bone
Which shot from the floor
Then, struck hard the cracked stone
 
The wall gave a moan
The crack opened wide
Revealing to all
What was hidden inside
 
The beasts turned to John
From their revelry
Their rage clear as day
And John knew, he should flee
 
Figures uncounted
Swarmed from the hole
With one thing in mind
To reach John, was their goal
 
With bones in their hands
They bellowed and wailed
Then launched there at John
The mere sight, made him pale
 
He lurched to his feet
And off with a crack
He fled that dark shrine
And he never looked back
 
It is said, the note
That he put in his book
No one was allowed
Not so much as a look
 
He claimed to be cursed
By that eldritch place
Said, he’d been followed
For, they knew well, his face
 
 
Across the savanna
And over the seas
He could not escape
In each place he would be
 
Dark agents would speak
Their god’s profane words
Walking among us
So John through, that he heard
 
He’d turn a corner
In any small town
Hear something whispered
And then quick, look around
 
Monsters and old gods
Were nowhere in sight
But, it mattered not
To a soul, filled with fright
 
He locked himself up
Behind fence and wall
No more stories shared
No one visits at all
 
One day, the maid came
Found John in his bed
The sheet over him
Stained deep, crimson red
 
They say that the maid
Was given a fright
And so horrified
Her dark skin turned to white
 
I’ve heard that his face
Was missing the eyes
And some of his bones
Were chewed on one side
 
THE END

 

 
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