The Organist

Here’s a longish mock-Gothic poem, inspired by my friend Ryan.

The Organist

Young Ryan plays the organ
At a service once a week.
He’s been playing for some time,
Reads the score, nothing more,
Just plays upon the organ,
In the morning, simply walks in
Nice and tidy, through the door.
Says: “I’m here to play the organ”,
Meets the minister named Morgan,
Has brief but friendly talk and
Settles at his place, flexes fingers,
Slaps his face, tells the singers
To await the chord that will announce
The beginning.

And he plays.

Just an hour, then it’s over,
Congregation rendered sober
From the music that was woven
From this organ ace’s art.
Then Morgan creeps towards him
And whilst smiling says “A bargain,
You really should be charging
More for playing with such heart.”
He hands a sealed envelope,
Which Ryan tucks inside his coat,
He knows the contents well by now:
A 5 and 10 pound note.

At least that’s what he thoughte.

But sitting later yearning
For a flitter of that earning,
Ryan found within his pocket
Not the money but a shock it
Was a picture of Mrs Bacon
From the church’s congregation,
An elderly creation
He’d seen many times before.
He flipped her face and saw-
A message.

The single word was ‘Liver’
Ryan longed for just a sliver of understanding
And with the photo in his hand he Called up Morgan on his phone.

“Hi Morgan, this is Ryan,
I appreciate you’re trying
But this lady’s not my type and
If I said so, I’d be lying.
If it’s all the same to you then
I’ll be seeing you next week when
I’m back playing on the organ,
Nothing more than that. Ok, bye!”

“Oh Ryan.
I must have been mistaken,
I had rather become taken
With the fanciful idea
That you are not the sort to fear.
But if the visage of Mrs Bacon
Leaves you shivering and quaking
Then I suppose I won’t be making
That mistake again too soon.
Tonight I will enquire
As to someone I can hire
So that you can now retire.
Good day.”

I can more than manage Mozart
and I’ve beaten back Beethoven,
Blindfold I handle Handel,
And I chop to pieces Chopin,
So don’t think that I’ll be choking
On this challenge you’re invoking.”

So in the church they met that night
In freezing cold and candlelight,
The minister and his acolyte
They formed a wicked creed.
Then nodding in agreement parted,
Running homeward Ryan darted,
Picking up a pen knife, started
On the morbid deed.

To next Sunday we proceed.

Young Ryan plays the funeral march,
Then starts the eulogy.
Upon the alter Morgan speaks
Of the charming Mrs B.
“Although we are so sad that now
This lovely lady’s gone
Perhaps though, in a funny way,
A part of her lives on.”

And soon the evil partnership
Became an enterprise,
Where Morgan sold the organs that were
Pinched from the insides
Of the wrinkly parish-goers
Who would drink the cyanide
That was hidden in the chalice
Mixed in with communion wine.
But old Morgan was too squeamish
To perform the operation
And so Ryan’s subtle fingers
Found an excellent vocation
In the careful laceration
Of the skin and bone and gore,
Fleecing the deceased of bits
Not needed any more.

No one ever seemed to wonder
Where the bodies went
Asked one Sunday Morgan said:
“Perhaps to heaven sent”
But only he and Ryan knew
The truth of their descent,
No one would search
A simple church,
Still less, in the basement.

The perfect pair kept working
And the money rolled on in
A 50-50 partnership,
An equal deal in sin
Ryan’s former 15 pounds
Expanded fifty-fold
Each week he’d play the organ
Festooned with new-found gold.

But the problem, was the old.

As time grew on the number of the
Elder folk fell fast
Till eventually one Sunday
They were down to just the last.
His name was Mr Biggly
And his arm was in a cast,
Young Ryan felt some sympathy
And so to Morgan asked:
“Hi Morgan, it’s been fun, you know,
I’ve really learnt a lot although
I think it may be time to go,
To quit while we’re ahead.
We’re out of bodies anyway,
There seems no reason I should stay,
Perhaps an opportunity
For someone new instead.”

“Oh, Ryan.” Morgan said.

“Of all the organists we’ve had,
You’ve been the best, it makes sad
To have to say goodbye so soon
But meet me in the afternoon
We’ll say a proper farewell then,
I think I’ll miss you,
Dearest friend.”

In the basement they met later,
Daemon child and its creator,
Ryan said: “Well it’s been great,
I’ll see you around, I guess.”
Morgan slowly, moving forward,
Blocked the exit, had him cornered,
Ryan quavered: “Now I’m sure I
Really ought to go.”
Morgan said: “Oh, no”.

“You see, we’ve had our latest order,
Biggest yet, we can’t ignore the
Needs and rights of our consumers
Wouldn’t be good sport.
I thought the heart of Mr Biggly
Might be nice, fresh and squiggly
But you’re right, he’s rather sickly,
Better can be sought.

As Morgan spoke he moved in nearer,
Every step intentions clearer
Ryan sweat and felt the fear that
Only devils bring.
In Morgan’s hands he held the chalice
“Drink this now” he said with malice,
“Last you’ll play your Thomas Tallis”-
Then Ryan threw a swing.

And stabbed the wicked thing.

From his sock he had unfurled
The pen-knife and with vengeance hurled
The blade within the pastor’s heart.
And watched the blood and life depart.


Now Young Ryan plays the saxophone
In the local concert band.
It doesn’t pay but likes the way
It gets less out of hand.
Besides they say the organ
Doesn’t seem to play quite right,
The sound is sort of muffled
Like there’s something in the pipes.