SHOCKing Sonnets: David Cronenberg’s THE DEAD ZONE

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SHOCK’s resident poet Nigel Parkin gives us some SHOCKing sonnets and horrifying haikus.

David Cronenberg’s THE DEAD ZONE



The classroom bell rings.

The children still are sitting,

Held by ‘The Raven’.

He closes his book,

Our hero, haunted by Poe,

Possessing the words.

He speaks the last verse,

Called up from shadows within,

Then lets himself smile.

Is the spell broken?

‘Pretty good, huh?’ he asks them.

Does this reduce it?

Little does he know,

This modest man, what it means,

The promise it holds.

A tale of love lost,

Of solitude and anguish,

Prophecies of doom.

This is his future.

He’s a man out of his time.

The bell told us that.

When words should have stopped,

When youthful hearts should have flown,

He held them in place.

He’ll do this again,

Grip people, fix them with stares,

Haunted by their truth.

He’ll take possession

Of the darkness in their souls,

Their secrets, their fates.

Just like Poe’s dark bird

He’ll rap on the chamber doors

Of conscience and fear.

In the gazebo,

Touching the dead, he sees all –

The killer. His face.

Holding the boy’s arm

He sees the children sinking,

Swallowed by the ice.

And at the rally,

Meeting the next President,

He sees the world end.

He knows he must act.

Painful blank spots in his mind

Tell him this can change.

Terrible knowledge –

This dead zone is killing him.

But what a power…

The angel of death,

Raven with black-winged collar,

Is a messiah.

It’s a masterpiece,

This tale of a fading man

Destroyed by his mind.

It’s pure Cronenberg

Watching with cool detachment

As hearts bleed and burn.

Walken says it best –

Smash! ‘The ice is gonna break!’

Intensity wins.

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