Tale Of The Jersey Devil – A Dark Poem

The wind it howled through dark of night

Father stammering in paralyzing fright

He hid me deep in closet bare

Eyes wide open through slats I stare

~

The growl it came on putrid breath

I feared the end a gruesome death

Father held tight as the door it rattled

Futile to fend an unnatural battle

~

Slowly the door it did part from it’s frame

Demon’s eye I see glowing red as a flame

Father held tight, just as tight as he could

But he knew in short order his strength fail it would

~

The beast it did shriek as father fell to the floor

Claws round his throat he threw father at the door

With a horrible thud bleeding and prone

Father lay silent and I cowered alone

~

I could see cloven feet moving this way and that

Flapping leathery wings as if clipped from a bat

It spit as it growled from between fang laden jaws

Destroying our cottage with yellow curled claws

~

It’s face was not human, nor of beast of the earth

Larger than a man in it’s height and it’s girth

The horns that did sprout from the top of his head

Certain in a moment I surely be dead

~

It clawed at the closet breaking slat after slat

‘Til the drool from it’s fangs fell inside pitter-pat

I curled in the corner as best that I could

Live another night I prayed to God that I would

~

The stink of the devil almost more than I could bare

As lice and maggots fell from his feathers and his hair

With one longing screech as spit ran down the wall

I closed my eyes and held my breath as the satan’s tail did fall

~

Then as fast as it came it turned and did run

Back into the pines from whence it did come

Leaving claw marks and stench behind in it’s wake

This night we were lucky for no life did it take

~

Battered and bloodied was my father its true

No worse was I for the terror gone through

This story’s been told, handed down through the ages

Written in books filling volumes of pages

~

Still there are those who refuse to believe

‘Til receive they a visit on one dark moonless eve

Jersey Devil of the pines unannounced makes his call

The season matters not winter, spring, summer or fall

~

The son of Mrs. Leeds, cursed long before birth

Banished to the forest amongst pine and marshy firth

Spawn of the Devil to live immortal life

Its best to guard your sons and daughters and your wife.

~

~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

This poem is based on the Jersey Devil, the longest lasting piece of lore in the state of New Jersey, originating in 1735. This website, WeirdNJ gives one rendering of what the Jersey Devil is supposed to look like along with a good bit of information about it’s origination and actual sightings of the devil.

I grew up in this area and lived there until about 12 years ago. It is an absolutely beautiful area along the southern coast of New Jersey, that is of course unless it is nighttime and you are lost in the Pine Barrens.

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