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‘The Path of Life’, the front covers of ‘The Haywain’ triptych by Hieronymous Bosch, circa 1500


A traveller, who looks permanently

the other way, cannot see the hanging

on a nearby hill and is about to step

on the first, cracked stone of a footbridge.

A journey is the oldest metaphor,

next to God. Christ, enthroned, transforms the lucent

angels, falling, into winged plagues.

And the next metaphor. Hell’s ceaseless,

all accommodating horrors are almost

more than image. Before God, the sculpting

of fear in black angles of forest, fear’s

picture in another’s eyes – before God,

a sensing of evil.

© Copyright David Selzer
2 Responses
  • David Cracknell
    December 27, 2011

    Thanks for the continuing flow of words and images and ideas. I do like your “Bosch turn” which took me to paintings I knew and others that I did not. Bridging 500 years is a creative contribution in itself – much appreciated. I thought maybe the latest Hieronymous Bosch focus surfaced in “Lament for Bersham Iron Works” – – the second half of which seethes with fascinations and ambiguous rejections – somewhere Bosch might have been drawn to Wrexham with its spectres of hammers and flames….

  • David Selzer
    December 28, 2011

    Bosch and Bersham! I like the connection not least because the Bersham poem – was written last year and the Bosch pieces, though distilled a little this year, were originally written in 1973.

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