Conductor Shrike

Conductor Shrike hovers where the girl had been sitting
Oily cloth clings to that harsh frame, a bleak persona
No sound issues from his mask, he stays mum
Devil took his tongue, many assume
Useless to ask, and he cannot tell himself
Caws like a crow, others claim, attracted to shiny things too
Thornbush is his train, forged of black metal and fear
Once you board, he will rage until the last stanza
Regardless of the path, his train ends at death and sorrow
So behold Shrike’s form and tremble, for it is time to go
He’ll ask no fare, save fealty to him
Rubies do not entice him one iota
Ingots neither, nor smokes nor gin
Knives he has aplenty, he only wants your self
Everyone who rides must meet his fervor
Ingest it, swirl it to and fro
Submit to his destructive whim
All stops require a violent blow to the CCTA
Gifts from Shrike and the MTC
Incognito passengers strive to reach Yoshiai
Rumors persist of a path for the bold there, secret
Liars are good friends to Shrike, better than any
Pirates, scoundrels, rascals who cannot say, “No!”
Lovers of all types, the addict, the thief
All are welcome to place their throats under his heel
Yoshiai is forever calling, the broken limp to Yoshiai
Incinerate the CCTA cars, burn their plaza
No sin too small to buy passage on this tour
Go into a saloon to spread rumors
Murder a governor’s child
Any wrong you conceive, Shrike did ages ago
No one can match his sword, no one dodge his gun
Dynamite lives in his blood, but does not touch his heart
Aboard the Thornbush, he hides himself away
No one sees him carouse, he is forever solo
Guests never speak to him, he is no one’s beau
Everyone is masked, but Shrike hides the most
Rumor is the closest he comes to truth
Oily black cloth with impeccable posture points to Yoshiai
Unman yourself lest you offend the one within
Shrike melts into a bloody riverbank


About paulgude

Paul Gude writes small books, makes stupid music, draws silly pictures, and does weird things on stage.
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