The Cry

We live in a fruitless world,

Where the trees refuse to grow.

Dry fields you cannot see,

Where seeds in vain are thrown.

Blood flows deep into the ground,

Leaving stains no one can clean.

Words come from our mouths like stones,

But they’re tossed back to the sea.

Broken bodies must stand alone,

Hands pushed back when out to reach.

My poor voice is lost around the world,

There is no one left to teach.

Natalie Gorna

The Devil’s Portrait

A scene in “A Night on Bald Mountain” in the animated musical feature “Fantasia” (1940) by Walt Disney Studios

Most fairy tales and folk tales introduce a reader to an assortment of magical creatures and beings, from fairies and nymphs and unicorns to dragons and queer beasts and mermaids.  However, of all places, Eastern Europe often ignores fantasy in pursuit of a closer enemy: the Devil and his consorts.  Throughout almost all of these stories, demons and devils disguise themselves as ordinary humans in order to create mischief among mortals.  But more often than not, a paradoxical question arises.  In some tales, the Devil is almost sympathetic about his “job,” punishing sinful humans with a sense of righteousness and wicked pleasure in achieving justice.

Who is this figure, then?  Personified evil?  A symbol of evil?  A fallen angel?  An instrument of God?  An immortal “hired” to keep humans in check?  Or just supernatural trouble?

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