The pied piper is a rat named Mick,

feeding on the youth,

thriving on innocence,

steeling our children,

because we haven’t paid him off.


It was a holy place,

a place where you went to get away,

a place of joy, fun, magic and mystery,

born and residing in fantasy.

The fantasy of the mind,

hopes and dreams to begin a life

imagining all possibilities

singing wishes upon starry nights

fireworks exploding behind grey castle walls.


You entered through the great iron gate,

stolen from Auschwitz with an inscription that reads

“the happiest place on earth.”

Recreated from “Abandon all hope ye…”


Leagues of children walk barefoot

down a diamond studded main street paved in gold

approaching the castle with its drawbridge up

the ones in the front stop, but are pushed forward

by the thousands of giggling behind.

All faces, all races, with no discrimination.


The screams are drowned out by the laughter

as the children in front fall and attempt to wade

through a moat of broken glass

that quickly turns into a red river

thick with children wailing and bleeding

piled high enough to storm the castle wall.


Beyond, a giant rat with great sharp teeth

standing atop a pink storybook building.

It’s a small world, the bell tolls

and the great pink doors open

for the youth to be taken

into the depths of industrial land

where children fight with razors

just to see who’s the favorite.


It’s the corner stone of big business

as somewhere in South America

a man stands in an alley wearing a suit

on his head a two-hundred dollar haircut

beneath two large round plastic ears

a very fanciful ‘D’ displayed on his name tag

in the darkness deals are made, drugs are sold

and traded to fill labor camps

because in South America… children are cheap.

Published by James Gabriel