Out of Hand

bydemure101©

Still grinning, yet his smile’s uncomfortably fixed,
the witch master stands hands raised, lit by the glow
of magic fires of his own designing. Swirls of yellow smoke
obscure the picture’s clarity but leave the general
impression much too much intact – the menace of the moment,

the dark mood that started all stands clear, and fills
the nostrils with its sharpness, hurts the eyes – tear ducts
get affected by the chemistry of vicious purpose, and the ears
produce a distant buzzing swallowing will not disperse.
An almost scientific wickedness, unleashed in the attempt

at cynical exposure of a basic urge, now grown transparent
in the sulphur vapours, stretches its long tentacles far beyond
the invocating fingers. Self-combustion takes possession of
the magic wand: the sorcerer’s false moves produce a flaming
Mene Tekel on the cloud-filled air, a wild reversal

of young children’s magic candles. Here, the shape’s all wrong.
The sounds build up, softly, slowly, a thin insistent whisper
to evolve to whirlwind magnitude. The murkiness
continually deepens now. The focal point’s no longer
visible, the strongest spells are audible no more,

and there’s no sense in trying to step back – the magic circle of
their own misgivings hold the audience nailed firmly to the spot
and all the while the clouds change colour: yellow, sickly green
to fiery red with orange overtones. The watchers’ hair a-flying
they stand rocking; the very earth beneath them shakes and groans.

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