by Eric Morris
My search for fortune led me to a place
Where golden rocks lay in the riverbed;
A wondrous paradise for greed unbound
Awaited my arrival with a lust,
A hunger for my soul unmatched by men.
I dove into the water without pause,
Before my conscience had its chance to speak;
My eyes were blind to anything but wealth,
An ache for power only money buys,
A need to sin but free from consequence.
The pyrite in the river lost its shine;
The water tasted stale and reeked of death.
I knew I’d erred and tried to swim for shore,
My only wish to breathe clean air again,
But I was held in place by bony hands.
The corpses of the fools who’d come before
Were pulling at my body from all sides.
They beckoned me to join them in the deep.
I struggled to break free and cried to God,
“Oh, save this mortal wretch from certain death!”
I looked about, but there was no escape;
The riverbank was gone, as was the floor,
And in its stead, a chasm dark as night,
An endless grave as wide as it was deep.
The devil’s creatures swam into my view,
Their tortured faces singing my demise
As Satan’s endless laughter filled my ears,
And darkness overtook my will to fight.
I lost all hope as I began to sink,
And water filled my lungs; I closed my eyes.
I suddenly awoke from restless sleep
And pierced the void with screams of utter fright;
It dawned on me that I was safely home,
And death had not yet overtaken me.
A nightmare, to be sure, but over now;
I stumbled to the kitchen for a drink.
When I turned on the tap I was amazed
By floating flecks of gold inside my glass.
I vividly remembered Satan’s laugh;
Maybe a warning, maybe prophecy.