© 2013 RC deWinter ~ All Rights Reserved
Who said the devil you know is better than the one you don’t?
They’re wrong, dead wrong – at least I think so.
The devil that you know soon becomes familiar,
and familiarity breeds contempt – that one I’ll buy.
Get to know your devil too well, and there’s no challenge,
no chance to try your tricks and hopefully come out a winner.
No, give me the guy I don’t know.
I’ll spend some time just watching all his moves, his small conceits,
recording in my sinews all his soft spots,
‘cause they all have them, you know.
It just takes patience, time and cunning.
But if you observe closely you’ll discover how to win,
to blunt his pitchfork, poll his horns, and tie his forkèd tail
to a fencepost before sauntering away and on to the next guy.
Sometimes he will surprise you,
and that’s when you have to watch your ass.
He’ll hide those horns and hooves, carry a cane and crop his tail.
And when he grins that come-here look you’ll go.
He’ll wrap you in his wings and take you off to some dark fortress
and then there’s hell to pay.
But that’s a lesson I’ve learned well now, and for you perhaps,
a lesson for another day.
You see me – walking, talking – I survive. I always will,
to shake the scaled, taloned hand of my next devil, to try his wits
and test his mettle, to make him weep and gnash fangs in despair.
Oh, I’ve got scars from my encounters – some deep wounds.
They always heal. Those scars sit lightly now and armor me –
protect my soul.
© 1998, renewed 2011 RC deWinter
And where’s the devil? Why, as always – in the details.
Digital oils from an original photograph shot February 24, 2013.
Tech specs: Photoshop 7, VP5 Gothic Oils
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