GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS


The left, centre and right panels of the tryptch, ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’, by Hieronymous Bosch circa 1510

 

Paradise flocks. Christ is blessing Adam, Eve

and, looking our way, us. We know, we

know – but a dirty trick to make evil

interesting! Lords and ladies teem: nude

armies on sensual manoeuvres.

In the nightmare, penis becomes knife, vulva

a cracked, open egg on tree-like legs –

and a man, elbow on the cut-away edge,

is unmoved. Hells’ punishments become our

crimes: towns burn; refugees drown; a man

is crucified in a harp. Hell’s commandants

play sonatas – and someone watches

and is indifferent.

 

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