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Orlie's Ire: A Narrative Poem

Chris has written poetry for 28 years though he focuses on short fiction. But watch out for the occasional twisted nursery rhyme.


Orlie's Ire

Wind roared through the town of Orlie’s Bend

On the night the people planned the death and end

Of he who raped their women and murdered their men.

Last count of the women he defiled was twelve,

And the men he slew had been themselves

The husbands of those into whose skirts Orlie delved.

Enough was enough the living pined

As on their souls, wicked Orlie dined.

The townsfolk swore his haunt they’d find.

Through wood and swamp to river’s edge

The mob rampaged and shouted their pledge

To sleep no more until Orlie was dead.

With pitchforks and axes, sledges and scythes,

They drove the scoundrel to where the river plies

Its course through solid rock, then dives

And falls one hundred feet or more

To the cool and dampened forest floor,

A drop that had carried many into lore.

The murderer and rapist they wished aroint

As he teetered on a ledge that petered to a point,

The rocks below, his blood to anoint.

But Orlie made his stand and had his say

That he’d haunt the town every year this day

And require one soul the town must slay.

To appease the sting of Orlie’s ire,

They must burn the one upon a pyre,

And Orlie would then for a year, retire.

But the crowd was mad, heard not a word

Of Orlie’s plan, their future to gird,

And pressed the man until his cries reverbed.

One year to the day Orlie strode into town

And danced with no music like a circus clown.

He stopped the dance, smile drooped to a frown.

Now do my bidding or the town I’ll slay,

As he drew from his cloak a bag of gray.

This powder, he claimed, would make them pay.

They feared for their lives and drew straws to see

Who the first sacrifice to Orlie would be.

Each held up their straw and saw they were free,

Until a quivering voice whispered, “Please, not me!”


© 2018 Chris Mills

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