As the sun peeps out over misty morning hills and the dawn chorus calls with its piercing shrill, the demons of the night fade slowly to grey, with a sidelong glance at the few that got away. He rises and stretches and with sleepy eyes, breathes a sigh of relief and a laughing surprise. The nightmare lingers in his foggy mind until a final shiver leaves the shadows behind. He opens the curtains and bathes in the sun, the heat of all life; a new day begun. Out in the garden playful squirrels flee, across the lawn and up into the trees. A breath of fresh and life giving air, the trickling brook near the fox’s lair. The sighing sounds from the tallest trees as the leaves are rustled by the morning breeze. He stares out in wonder at the glorious scene as a Blackbird serenades the woman of its dreams. But beyond his control and outside of his will the doubts creep back in with a slow stealthy chill. Why must there be so much pain in the world; such hate and division as the colours unfurl? There’s so much to see, to feel and to love, from the ground at our feet to the skies up above. When did mankind lose the will to live; to help one another; to share; to give; to feel compassion for sisters & brothers, for family; for kinfolk; for any and all others? Do we no longer care for the ones who surround, ignoring their pleas and heart-breaking sounds? When did we lose the ability to be the ones to help the persecuted, flee? Defend the weak, the young and old. When did our hearts stop caring; grow cold? We are born to this world as equal souls, before slowly sinking down a hate-filled hole. Us and them; must it always be, does the time draw near when we all have to flee? The land of the free is in shackles & chains, they’ve sold us all down the desolate drains. With a sigh of resignation he shrugs and turns away, the dawn is dying; the skies turning grey. A dark storm approaching from the distant horizon, is it the tumult of death and dangerous division? There’s a wave of despair that is too hard to fight, its better to sleep through the oncoming night so behind damp eyes he retreats and hides, as the shadows return where the demons reside. Beyond the panes, the sky turns to coal, The Reaper is laughing, collecting his souls. A bountiful harvest for the gates of hell, yet there, in the distance, the toll of a bell? * Written by Darren Scanlon, 23rd August 2014. Revised 13th July 2015. ©2014 Darren Scanlon. All rights reserved.