Image for the poem The Shadow Knows

The Shadow Knows

ode to MR James  

Je níy crois pas, mais je les crains. (I do not believe, but Iím afraid.) - Germaine de StaŽl  

As a boy he dreamed  
about a Judgement Day,  
on which all of mankind  
was ranged on a cloud  
before God.  
Mutton-chops and shawls,  
top hats and petticoats  
in school assembly  
as He  
decided their eternal home.  
The wicked were plunged into Hell.  
I picture them falling  
like failed minions  
in a spy movie, trapdoors opening  
beneath their feet  
and flames licking up through  
the door. God on His throne  
looks like He does in  
those evangelical tracts,  
where He doesnít have a face  
because Protestants would  
consider that idolatry.  

The nagging half-belief  
in ghouls, the dark  
allusions to  
witchcraft and buried dolls;  
the knowing that  
in Reason's light  
we should know much better,  
but still the shadow knows...  
these are what bring me back  
to his tales.
Written by The_Silly_Sibyl (Essex Boy)
Author's Note
The expression "the shadow knows" is a reference to a '30s radio serial from America, The Shadow, the catchphrase of which was: "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!"
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