Shocking Sonnets: The Wicker Man

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Resident horror poet Nigel Parkin delivers an ode to the late Robin Hardy’s 1973 masterpiece The Wicker Man

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A Policeman’s Prayers…

I – The Coming of the King

There is deceit here. Can I trust my eyes?
A serpent’s venom infects my vision.
Naked women dance in the Lord’s garden,
Through flames, while children worship the phallus
As a symbol of their god! I’ll split wood
And fashion a cross to bring back the blood
Of their forgotten king, Christ, Lord of lords,
Whose sacrifice can still save Summerisle.
Lord! Dispel the mist of false Paradise!
Lift the veil from these sinners’ sun-dazed eyes
And let them see themselves for what they are –
Beasts, fornicating in the fires of Hell,
Claiming innocence, laughing like children
As they stain and desecrate your kingdom.

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II – The Temptation of the Virgin

Oh Lord! I see her light! What is this sweat?
This sense of burning I feel inside me?
The devil has given me eyes to see
The rite that she performs, unclothed, in heat,
Behind her closed door, on the other side
Of this wall that calls me, draws me to it
With the promise of her flesh. I reach out
To turn the handle, to open the door,
To touch her, commune with her, dance with her,
All the while aware of fire and fear, flames
Of shame and sin consuming this virgin
Soul, willingly abandoned, offered whole,
Lured by the carnal promise of this girl.
Oh God! Oh Jesus Christ! Keep me from her!

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III – The Song of the Fool

Oh Jesus Christ, where is your mercy now?
Have you forsaken your honest servant?
Or is this the fire of my salvation?
Caged in this terrible wicker idol
With these screaming animals, am I safe?
Is this the ark of my deliverance?
They say it was free will that brought me here
But is it YOUR will I have come this far?
It was not my will to see what I’ve seen
Or, God forbid, to be aroused by it!
Have you condemned me? The hands of the damned
Have placed me here. See how they now are joined!
Together we sing. Lord, now I can see…
They are burning and your servant is free!

The Wicker Man

Burn, Wicker Man, Burn…