Day 6 – 6th April

Hiernyomous Bosch Griffin
From “The Garden of Earthly Desires” – Hieronymous Bosch


From Griffin’s Expansion to a Cyclical Path


the winds behind propel me, away

from the slimy primordial soup that spawns

every specimen an egg can imagine, and

from the spiked tree with dragon sap, and

the Eve of every hapless human day


in a leap to sky, I roar in a strident cry

and pounce upon my prey with Zeusian thrashing


my showy dominion is even in the waters

this is my masterpiece, and you are unknowingly

a jigsaw slice and juicy morsel

that feeds my clockwork metal

your will services me

you are of use, unless…


your knowing shall open my claws, and

at first saved from my jaws and beak here

begins your fall and wonder –

so will my back break,

or will the fires of Dutch towns continue

to burn you eternally?


your knowing shall find other truths:

that perhaps it is not my feathered chest

or musty golden back paws

that are forever thrusting us into expansion


that here we are – a pause in the climbing push

so that I also can mutate with scales

in a way that flips the coin

I lose fur and feather and I lose my limbs

in the paradigm shrug, the shedding


I am now diving in a circle and show

my new coat and my hinged jaw that will close

in hunger around my tail

in-finitely growing and devouring

I am now Ouroboros



Saffron – April 2020



Write a poem from the point of view of one person/animal/thing from Hieronymous Bosch’s famous (and famously bizarre) triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights. Whether you take the position of a twelve-legged clam, a narwhal with a cocktail olive speared on its horn, a man using an owl as a pool toy, or a backgammon board being carried through a crowd by a fish wearing a tambourine on its head, I hope that you find the experience deliriously amusing. And if the thought of speaking in the voice of a porcupine-as-painted-by-a-man-who-never-saw-one leaves you cold, perhaps you might write from the viewpoint of Bosch himself? Very little is known about him, so there’s plenty of room for invention, embroidery, and imagination.