Dead monarchs buried under car parks? Pshaw! This is the all-conquering Black Death, baby ...
'Yet still the wind it blows, and it blows wisht.
It’s an unket wind that rolls and bowls
along the lonely drovers’ trails
in sunlight and in starlight
when ghostly owls make moan.
And with it comes a frittening
like naught you’ve ever known.
Forget your bullbeggars, dragons and bogies,
Jack o’ Lanterns that dance over mires
those drear, drowned souls rising up from their depths
with slimy hands that beckon and clutch …
Forget the whispering spirits of All-Hallow-E’en,
your pixies and ogres and hags
Old Nick and his hell hounds that howl in the blackness
their eyes all a-flame …
They’ve long since been sung of in stories
and vanquished by name.
For now absence begets a presence
older than words, colder than ice at the heart of the fire.
A darksome sending – nameless, formless dread –
a shapeshifter that drifts and slides
beside its helpless prey
a displacement of air, a quickening, thickening
clotting and curdling into a shade
that isn’t fog or a cloud for it’s real, it’s alive
though it reeks of death and decay.
And soon you’ll reacquaint yourself
with one you’ve glimpsed before –
Bloodless and Boneless behind the door
but now it’s breathing through your keyhole
forcing fingers through
the cracks and chinks and squints.
And though it utters not a sound
you understand what’s brought it here
and its intention as it reaches through
is boulder-cold and clear -
It’s come for you ... '