The “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”
have nothing on the armour-piercing fury
of a bullet tipped with wormwood gall;
no arbitrary missile this, but launched from
beyond the earth; underworld to surface borne
on wings of fire, brimstone burning, sulphur smelling,
singeing souls and scorching bodies, brandishing
the branding irons of images that sear themselves
into the skull, the mark of the beast tattooed
across the desolate, desecrated landscape.
Try as you might to hide, or to “take arms
against a sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them,”
it will dash you to the ground, drown you in clear air;
this kind can be defeated only by prayer.