The Lynching Of The Turnkey by Paul Tristram

It happened in the Introductory Cells.
No proper solid doors, like over in the main prison.
We’re trained to watch out for missiles,
as we’re about our corridor-work.
Besides the usual shit and piss flung at you,
the desperate, mad ones will even throw fingers,
if they can manage to bite them off.
You can lose an eye in the blink of an eye.
Never underestimate a cornered man,
oftentimes he’s in chains out of bad luck,
rather than incompetence or stupidity.
They got The Beggar, with stumps instead of legs,
to throw the loose, untied rag with rats in,
right up from floor level, never saw it coming.
The stinking, horrible parcel EXPLODED
upon hitting his chest bone…
sending razor sharp teeth and claws
upwards into his surprized and horrified face.
This sent him staggering to the other side of the walk,
well within reach of The Dockside Murder,
6’7” and built like a brick shitehouse.
He’d knotted his own trouser legs in preparation,
and once they were through the bars and around his neck…
well, that was a bloody end to it all.
We found him dangling, half a foot in the air,
with the Murder, naked from the waist down,
sitting upon the floor on the inside of the cage,
red of face, and still grasping the makeshift noose, tightly.

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight; this too may pass, yet. Buy his books ‘Scribblings Of A Madman’ (Lit Fest Press) ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at And a split poetry book ‘The Raven And The Vagabond Heart’ with Bethany W Pope at You can also read his poems and stories here!

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