The death of Killelly

A bastard fearsome ghost, deadly pall of billowing smoke. Rising.

Spectral shadow of a spirit alive and greedily consuming,

the bloom of it billowing dense and dark, spark by spark it hunkers down

dragons breath rising in domination above a cowering town.


Closer now, bloom of evil contained deep in the core of orange blossom

belching from the heart of hell, the rolling swell of flame licking and stealing,

breathing smoke already too heavy to rise, choking throats and stinging eyes.

Death comes calling in its dark disguise under smoke ruined blackened skies.


The factory ablaze.  Hidden in the blanketing haze of rising smoke

of flame and killing heat. Hearts afire beat in consternation

jobs and lives lost in a single toss, a murderous rose of conflagration.

Fathers worry, mothers cry, prayers sent to the sky that none will die.


On the lips of those who gather in the lane and on the street.

Already they can feel the heat reaching down. The hand of God

or the terror of Satan’s blackened claw. His gaping maw

sucking all the air and life from the street into the raging heat.


The sound too late. Salvation, as engines leave the fire station.

Sirens stir life again, dogs bark and words fall on the ash strewn ground.

Whispers now abound, children run, shouting comes from door to door,

then rise to shouts. Any news? Any dead? Will the factory close?


Questions that are fears unspoken, masked terrors real and now awoken,

questions unasked, terror moulded and hidden in the mundane, errant sparks.

Spectre of rumbling bellies and the cry of famished mouths and eyes,

the cries of children starving in the still of a breathless morning.


Men marching, a road out, to go alone, away from heart and home,

find other pay. To stay the hand of hunger, put Christmas on bare boards.

To save and to horde, to continue and to live in sight of that twisted ruin.

Town dead to a carelessly thrown butt, not quashed underfoot.


And so the fortunes of families turn, in revolving blaze contained.

What remains is skeletal, a monument of what might have been,

there it will stand on a hill to be seen, despised by mean blackened eyes,

those who stood there saw it all and call to call dread words spread. Kilelly is dead


The morning news is grim. Mourn the death of another country town

proclaimed in the flickering shadow of a factory burning down.


©Dave Kavanagh February 2016

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