The Mark of the Beast

The Mark of the Beast, a symbol of the end of days, when all hope is extinguished.  As the numbers of free men and women dwindle and the pressure increases, what choices will they make?  What options remain?


Mark of the Beast

Weary from the constant wrestling

Choose now and never change course

Innermost privacy under pressure

Self-criticism my obvious muse

Feeding the forecast of tragedy

Tearing at the controlling reigns

An honest man in a dishonest world

Now fearing unconscious thoughts

The tragic pathway to damnation

Obstacles conquer and divide

Damaging any remaining bits of remorse

Until imagery is no longer focused

When the eyes sting from unseen lash

A pounding that echoes endlessly

Tis no source of comfort or solace

The soliloquy shouted to no one

Choose now and never change course

My arrival at an unpropitious moment

When sincerity no longer passes for honor

Pride remains an inordinate opinion

Dignity carries the brand of superiority

Esteem has become an arm of the collective

The will to survive takes sacrifice

Self no longer the associative term

Respect, control, employed, motivated

Migrated to satisfaction from belonging

Awarded from empty achievements

Static scenes with scripted moments

Stone faced hordes awaiting the signal

Destroying the notion of individualism

Dissenters and deserters hunted down

Time to fight, time to die, time to submit

Choose now and never change course

Again, plagued by hopelessness

Haunted in every waking moment

The unruly mob demands submission

Take the mark or take the fall

Choose now and never change course

Take the mark and take the fall…



Latest posts by R J Schwartz (see all)

R J Schwartz

I write about everything and sometimes nothing at all. I'm fascinated by old things, rusty things, abandoned places, or anywhere that a secret might be unearthed. I'm passionate about history and many of my pieces are anchored in one concept of time or another. I've always been a writer, dating back to my youth, but the last decade has been a time of growth for me. I'm continually pushing the limitations of vocabulary, syntax, and descriptive phrasing.

4 thoughts on “The Mark of the Beast

  • April 12, 2016 at 10:26 PM

    Indeed for those who worry about end days, who stay awake each hour, waiting for the final one. Afraid and worried about being forced to take the Mark. The beast is within their minds, heaven or hell is right here below every step we take. The beast already reigns, technology has seen to that. We are marked whether we believe it or not. Evil is here among us, mankind has filled it’s boots with it. So live each day like it could be your last, don’t fret about the numbers of 666 or being forced to embed a chip. They have our minds and souls already, that we surely must believe. I fear no beast, I have learned to live within the system made by man and ignore much of it. The beast machine is healthy, it’s the citizens that are sick from it.

    • April 13, 2016 at 12:26 AM

      Great assessment and you view it from an angle I’d not thought of (being already inside the minds of the fearful) – great comment

  • April 13, 2016 at 6:47 AM

    A very powerful piece of poetry, Ralph. Growing up predominately with a Christian inspired background though rarely attending church, I was brought up to, not fear exactly, but be constantly alert for the mark of the beast. The End of Times or the Rapture appears forever closer, and especially with the current world situation being under constant threats from ISIS, terrorism, and sometimes our own inner societies.

  • April 15, 2016 at 4:30 PM

    An interesting view of this hour so near. I can see the many sides to be seen and felt as the years have gone. Like always having a master and now we must choose between two and well…not an easy choice for the price either way (well as a human view anyway).
    Actually I am so glad I read this. I may write on this too since it has plagued my mind many times also.
    Great write, hope many read this!


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