Memory of the painting never pales,

that skin with contorted face,

frenetic figures falling, flung to the depths,

that supreme haloed potentate, in the center of it all,

gesticulating his commands,

dictating the punishments they’ll receive.

Good and evil, in my mind get intermixed.


Are devils, with their whips and goads

good or bad? Must we accept

this medieval madness as a 21st century truth,

or put our question marks to this,

like all else we’re told: Higgs bosons, stem-cell cures,

bombastic blather from our political seneschals,

ballyhoo about that better life they offer?


But Art’s reality has always been a long way off

from what is really real,

artists themselves now and again

certifiable for incarceration in a padded cell;

Wild colors, forms that twist and meld.

From where did that reputation arise

that declared the accuracy of their worlds?