Marleys come calling

Dead —
as a door-nail
reflecting
flicker of wildfire-glow;
may we still hope
that the ghosts
of the Marleys
might call on
Scrooges to teach
them that money
burns better than blood
still roaring contempt
though their veins
for the coal-greed
igniting our pyre.

Frank Finlay as Marley in the 1984 film adaptation

Another Quadrille (44 words) for dVerse. Also linking to Earthweal on the ghosts and maybe a hope that the ghosts of the greedy will come back to teach the living one what greed does.

“Old Marley was as dead as a doornail.

Mind! I don’t mean to say that, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a doornail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a doornail.”

From A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens


January 13, 2019

19 responses to “Marleys come calling

  1. Wow! As we mourn the senseless deaths of the rest, let’s not forget those whose greed was mostly responsible. Well, you see, we allow the Marleys. Somehow we should stop them..

  2. There are only a handful of Scrooges and so many more of the rest of us, we should be able to turn the tide!!!! Loved the Dickens references. Made me smile.

  3. History repeats itself because people have short memory and not willing to learn. So, there you are. Money and Power, too blind to see the End lurking near will keep on playing. “coal-greed” reminds me of the Adanis scheming to thrive in Australia.

  4. I enjoyed your updated take on A Christmas Carol, Björn. The image of ‘a door-nail reflecting flicker of wildfire-glow’ is particularly effective.

  5. Marley is a great representative of ghosting and guilt. And the locks of his chain easily morph here into chunks of coal. For all the wailing about losing jobs, Scott Morrison is just getting well paid by the coal lobbies. Tourism jobs dwarf the scale of coal industry jobs in Australia. Thanks for bringing this to earthweal — Brendan

  6. I love how you bring Marley into the discussion. Oh, if only we had one, (but there are so many Scrooges) to teach that lesson about money to the many. Great poetic form, makes me want to give it a whirl.

  7. Yes, if only something, some part of their consciences, *would* haunt these people with the grim, rattling reality of the death they have embraced. Love this form–very concise and powerful, Bjorn. I watch this movie every Christmas, the older one, in black and white, where the ghost of Christmas Future takes Scrooge to look at two starving gutter children about to freeze to death, and he says “Are there no workhouses?” It’s the old old tale of how the species abandons all humanity when it grabs for wealth. Still perhaps there is some force that can change them, like Scrooge, into real people. A great Dickens quote above also. Apologies for being so late to get here.

  8. If only!
    We saw a one-man performance of “A Christmas Carol” last month–for my birthday actually. It was excellent. Apparently, Dickens used to perform it, too.

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