In time for Halloween our own Adam Zawadzki has written (and recited) a poem. This horror tale is designed to exorcise his disquiet and anger about the Panama, Paradise and now Pandora papers, and those who evade taxation.

Read on if you dare…. watch the subtitled version below, or just listen with your eyes closed..

The Grim Reaper 

by Adam Zawadzki

Once upon a time, in a faraway land

the Grim Reaper was waxing his axe.

After washing blood from the dead of his cloak

he could finally stop and relax.

Just before that though, a kill order arrived

for his next unsuspecting victim.

Summoning his axe – he dissolved into smoke.

Lightning struck, thunder cracked. Classic Grim!

In the midday sun, in the bleak midwinter

was a church in the wild countryside.

Just beside the priest was the target: the Groom

at the altar across from the Bride.

The Groom was a joke in a black hat and tails

right in front of his soon-to-be wife.

Circus clown by day. Paparazzo by night.

It’s the happiest day of his life.

The Bride was a joke in a white satin dress

right in front of the man of her dreams.

Street artist by night. Influencer by day.

With the veil sparkling in sunlight streams.

What nobody knew was the Groom had been caught

in the act of avoiding his tax.

But this criminal could no longer escape

from the wrath of the Grim or the facts.

“Dearly beloved. We’re gathered here today,”

said the Priest to the Bride and the Groom.

But at the same time an old fireplace blew up.

From the flames came the spectre of doom.

Hovering in front of Jesus Christ on the cross,

from a dark hooded skeleton head,

came a deathly voice that filled all that were there

with the image of horror and dread.

“I hereby declare: you are sentenced to death

for your crimes against humanity.”

“Where will you go now? To the depths of despair!

From a world beyond all sanity.”

Pointing to the Groom was a skeleton hand

with the almighty finger of shame

and without delay from the hand swung the axe

heading straight for the target of blame.

Severed at the neck was the Groom by the blade

in its medieval guillotine stride

and such was the force that the head – it took off

and was caught by the hands of the Bride.

Falling to her knees with his head in her hands

was the Bride, full of anguish and pain. 

Blood was bleeding in to her white satin dress.

“What a shame”, muttered Grim, “that’ll stain.”

“What’s the problem here? Were you not entertained?”

Grim enquired, of the stunned audience. 

“How will you spread wealth from the rich to the poor

without ending the tax avoidance?”

But the audience were too stunned to inform

although children were filming the sight. 

“Put your phones away! Don’t you know who I am?

I don’t do bloody selfies! Alright?”

Suddenly, once more a kill order arrived

for his next unsuspecting victim.

“He didn’t do that! He was protecting me!”

Cried the Bride of the reaping by Grim. 

“What the hell?” Said Grim: “You’re co-conspirators!”

As the flight of the axe marked half way. 

“Tell me everything or by heaven and hell 

I will take more than one life today.”

“Father, I have sinned”, said the Bride to the Priest,

“I filed my tax returns in his name.”

The Priest led a prayer. Grim didn’t join the prayer:

“You’re as bad as each other. So lame.”

Like a boomerang came the axe, spitting blood

over all family, friends and pets.

“Enough is enough”, Grim declared, “as for you,

it’s time for me to settle your debts.”

Pointing to the axe then the head of the bride

made the Grim legislation concrete.

“By the grace of God you were dressed to impress

so I hope that you’ve kept the receipt.”

Severed at the neck was the bride by the blade

like a medieval guillotine beast

and such was the force that both heads – they took off

and were caught, one by one, by the Priest.

Red was the whole Church, family, friends and pets

by the blood of the Groom and the Bride.

Grim told the mourning: “Well elites, that’s karma.

Welcome all to the turn of the tide.”

“Public services need to thrive. Not survive

to support the many not the few.

If you don’t play fair like they all have to play

then the next time they may come for you.”

“Wealth equality will one day come to pass

as reality. But that’s a dream

as you’ll destroy yourselves for money, at all costs

until everyone plays for one team.”

“Imagine a world – piece in mind, body, soul –

from the money that won’t set you free.

For the love of life – you can’t take it with you

by the power invested in me.”

Grim as it may sound to the ears of the rich 

who are poor with their eyes on the ‘prize’.

Grim burst into flames in the holy fireplace.

Power and privilege: the perfect disguise.

If you think tax avoidance is a good idea,

good luck on your wedding day.