All Souls Day 2008

Because I know the devil still exists,

(he’s busy ironing his red chrysanthemums,

trotting out dates, at this point, unremarkable),

I’ve lit three candles: one for Studs Terkel,

one for the SAS in their Snatch Landrovers

and one for the couple at Clows Top

who wait in their little corrugated house

for the first spot of rain to hit its green tin roof -

and there you have it, moments later,

Cantata Momente, Karl Heinz Stockhausen’s

Requiem Mass, tapped out on their door:

a bier for a dead composer. Touch wood

for all souls, waiting in an unbroken circle.

Back-lit falling leaves. He knows them well,

those burned out wounds in their black hides.

Miriam Obrey