The Beast

I am the reason that things fall apart.
My fear I place in men’s untainted hearts.
I can corrupt a world of those who know.
Do you not see that I’m why it’s no go?

A plane of British schoolboys on a desert island landed. 5
Cut off from the world, no adults, the boys were stranded.
Ralph, emerging first, with help from a friend,
Found a conch shell in the sand and blew air through its end.

Thus, the order was in place. The first assembly gathered,
And the crowd was asked who for a chief they’d rather. 10
So Ralph became their leader and good Piggy his advisor
For the latter had a better head (and both knew who was wiser).

The first matter of business was a fire that would float
Black smoke into the air that might attract a boat.
The task was kept irregularly, much to Ralph’s chagrin, 15
But the only hope of rescue, yes, all hope lay therein.

They found me first in creeper vines that young ones thought were snakes
That came alive at night to dine. They saw them writhe and shake.
I filled their days with terror and their nights with hopeless fear,
Yet it was soon determined: not in vines did I draw near. 20

Young Simon was a prophet. In the forest I had spoken
A pig’s head on a stick, my flesh bloodied and mouth broken.
I said, “It is the height of folly for one to suppose
Hunted I could be and killed; I’m with you. Close, close, close!

Then in the dark of night, a shape from high above them dropped. 25
So hideous and pathetic fell the “beast that made a plop.”
The twins it scared and even Ralph lost his tranquility,
But Simon up the mountain climbed. The boy saw right through me.

So Simon from the peak went down and this he’d have conveyed
Had he not at the mountain’s foot been beaten and betrayed. 30
For on the beach his friends were circled, chanting up a din,
And then, with weapons raised, the circle closed and did him in.

A week after the landing, Piggy’s specs were deftly pinched,
So Ralph and his remaining friends along the rock cliff inched
To chase the demon Jack who had their source of fire, 35
But Roger rolled a heavy rock, sunk Piggy in the mire.

The conch was smashed, the twins were caught, and Piggy now was dead,
So Ralph, great leader that he was, turned away and fled.
At the first light of morning, Jack and his tribe gave chase,
And through the burning forest, Ralph’s stumbling feet made haste. 40

Crackling and ululation chased Ralph through the woods
And Ralph knew he’d best escape or be killed where he stood.
Then at last, a glint of blue! A glimpse of coral reef!
The sea was showing through the trees like sunlight pierces grief.

Frightened, broken, starving, Ralph collapsed upon the sand, 45
Only to see a smiling face and a clean proffered hand.
A man of naval status stood with his war machine,
Before the growing crowd of boys whose smoke he’d finally seen.

One by one, the savages dissolved into their tears,
Now, through murder, chaos, hate, they’d realized their fears. 50
And the officer fell silent, looking past the reef
To where his cruiser waited, armed from bow to teeth.

I’m still here in anger and in violence, lust, and pain.
When society collapses, I alone shall reign.
See here, now, that I will do you. I will do you all! 55
I will corrupt and I will conquer. Every man will fall!





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