Raising the Demon

Raising the Demon

A Poem by David Lewis Paget

‘There’s just one story I’ve never told

From the dregs of my memory yet,

It happened when I was just a lad

And I needed to forget,

But since I’ve been in the hospital

The dreams have come again,

Have swirled around on the ceiling here

From the depths of my tortured brain!’


The old man under the coverlet

Knew he was fading fast,

He wouldn’t be there on the morrow

After that night, he breathed his last,

I’d always thought him a wicked man

There was evil in his eyes,

But now the light of the truth shone there,

Much to my surprise.


‘We were just a group of army lads

Playing about with sin,

Everything was a joke to us

So we let the evil in,

The guy that we knew as Gorgon was

A Warlock, so he said,

We let him think we believed him, but

Our laughter turned to dread.’


‘The army town was a country town

With a graveyard on the hill,

We’d often go up at midnight, just

To give ourselves a thrill,

We’d sit on graves, sing bawdy songs

In the dark, as black as pitch,

While he’d go skittering round the graves

To call up an evil witch.’


‘We laughed, and thought it a joke, but then

He said, ‘You don’t believe?

There’s any number of demons here

I keep tucked up my sleeve,

I’ll call on the Demon Malphas, you

Will not mistake his form,

He comes as a fluttering raven, makes

You wish you’d never been born.’’


‘He stood up there on a graveyard slab

At the height of the midnight hour,

And drew a mystic pentangle with

The stalk of a plastic flower,

He called ‘Mallala al Rishabad’

In a tongue we’d never heard,

We all went suddenly quiet when

We heard the wings of a bird.’


‘The air was filled with a fluttering

But we couldn’t see in the dark,

There wasn’t a Moon in the sky that night

Nor even a single star,

The Gorgon swallowed and went quite pale

Looked blindly up at the sky,

‘Oh God, I think that I’ve raised him up,’

He said, with a weird cry.


A  headstone stood in the second row,

It must have been eight feet high,

And on the top sat a raven, wings

Stretched out, and an evil eye,

We heard the crack of the mortar, saw

The slab break right in two,

And the Gorgon fell right into the grave,

He disappeared from view!’


‘While up above sat the raven, he

Let out a terrible caw,

A sound like the creaking gates of Hell

As they swallowed the soul before,

The guys, they up and they scattered

Making their way on down the hill,

Their equanimity shattered,

There were groans in the sudden chill.’


‘The Gorgon never came out that night

The army sent up a team,

They dragged his corpse in the morning light

From the grave where he’d last been seen,

A look of horror was on his face

From the time of his deadly fall,

And none of us even had the grace

To go to his funeral.’


The old man struggled to get his breath,

Began to fade from my sight,

The hospital room spun slowly round,

He wouldn’t see out the night,

My eyes were playing me tricks, I saw

Perched just above his head,

The shadowed form of a raven that

Cawed once, and he was dead!


David Lewis Paget

© 2013 David Lewis Paget

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Featured Review

We mock and play with things we do not understand. There is no mercy given for the curiosity. The fate is ever dealt with cold lack of favor.
This story could be a lesson to all who tempt the spiritual relms. Well told and easy to read. Again, sounds better with your native accent when read. ;-)

Posted 8 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


One of your very best. Play with the devil and pays his due.

Posted 4 Years Ago

You never disappoint me. Your books I'll have to buy and place them on my table for all to read and a second copy just for me.

Posted 8 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

this is good. me thinks.

Posted 8 Years Ago

You are certainly king of the macabre.This being no asseption;young men may taunt one another but rarely do they go into the graves after dark

Posted 8 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Funny how when we are young we do and believe such stupiid things..until we get older and a memory like this comes back to haunt us..Where your mind keeps coming up with so many fantastic tales is beyond the scope of my imagination..You are really something Mate..Kathie

Posted 8 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Indeed don't we all raise those up to follow in each others steps, will we ever learn,w ell done, good read.

Posted 8 Years Ago

Wow another fantastic write from you David, your poems are like short stories and this one has a rather spooky feel to it. I always enjoy reading your work.

Posted 8 Years Ago

Brilliant as usual
Thanks for sharing :)

Posted 8 Years Ago

great tale indeed! Loved the moral... so much a trait of humanity!

Posted 8 Years Ago

BRILLIANT !! As Always David... you are such a flawless writer.... your Rhyme and meter are always right on pint... and the subject was very intense and captured me indeed... Loved this !!

Posted 8 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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18 Reviews
Added on February 5, 2013
Last Updated on February 5, 2013
Tags: Malphas, joke, dread, grave


David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget

Moonta, South Australia, Australia



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