Time of the devil

Sordidly sowing
his seeds
of putilent pestilence,
we can never unhear
his words —
puerile with virulent venom
and loathsome resentment.

We think we are better
until, in our neighbor
we see
his seedy reflection,
failing to see that
what’s boiling inside
is contagious rancor.

Time of the Devil
Nina Tokhtaman Valetova

Today it’s Quadrille with Merril hosting at dVerse. The word is seed which made me think of the hatred words can sow, and how easy we might be affected with pandemic hatred.

May 3, 2021

31 responses to “Time of the devil

  1. Ah, you went with the devil’s seed, Björn, dark and virulent indeed. I love the hissing sounds in ‘Sordidly sowing his seeds of putilent pestilence’, which have me recoiling from my laptop’s screen! It’s frightening how fast the seeds can grow into pandemic hatred. We don’t have anyone that I know of like that in our village, but someone dropped a used mask on the private road at the back of our house. Why do people do that?

  2. you sewed one bad see here Bjorn – I like too how
    “we can never unhear
    his words”
    once planted!!

    p.s. putilent a new one to add to my lexicon – thank you

  3. This is incredibly powerful, Bjorn! I agree, “we can never unhear his words —puerile with virulent venom,” the devil is undoubtedly quick when it comes to sowing those seeds.

  4. A somber look at the seeds of hatred, Bjorn. All too plentiful, I fear.

  5. Absolutely! The strength of revulsion and judgment came through so well with all your word choices. Well done.

  6. Such are the seeds of the devil ‘puerile with virulent venom
    and loathsome resentment’ – a wonderful phrase! I think we were writing along the same lines, and this also reminds me of another Blake poem ‘A Poison Tree.’

  7. I wonder if those toxic seeds need receptive soil to germinate? All of us have some darkness within that maybe is magnetically drawn to the poison? (the contagion) My best tactic for devil seed is to avoid it whenever possible. Too easy to get buried with it.

    Excellent exposition in just 44 words!

  8. A clever subversion of the immediate expectation of the prompt. Very clever! The alliteration you pushed here and there were also very excellent indeed. Fun, and thoughtful!

  9. sadly true, people are so fearful and fragile that they want to put others down … and hatred is born! You make your point well, particularly with the last two lines of each verse

  10. This is a fantastic take on the seed. I’ve a friend who keeps reminding me that a “holier than thou” attitude is itself as good a devil’s seed as any (even if I’m right about being holier than thou). Thanks for the brilliant read

  11. Wow – the feeling of malice that emanates from this poem! The alliteration is great – particularly the plosive ‘putilent pestilence.’

  12. “We think we are better”: so true. Well written, Björn. Captures our human illness of hypocrisy so well. Convicting and powerfully written.

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