Toxic garden

Rising to Ronovan’s challenge to write a poem based on The Garden of Earthly Delights triptych by Heironymous Bosch.

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They were not so naïve in those days of mass misery and oppression, when grotesques crouched in every doorway, and famine lurked at every winter’s end. Not so naïve as to believe in Heaven without Hell, master without slave, and the divine right of mad despots without the servitude of the poor.

Even then, the world was a teeming mess of futility, navel-gazing and lotus-eating. Paradise is solitude, the quiet of nature. The end, coming soon, to screens all around the world, is Hell and the final madness. So sophisticated and worldly-wise, are we, yet we will fall into the same pit of screaming darkness as the leprous villeins who feared the incubi and succubi of their dreams and that the sky might fall upon their heads.

Scream to the sky

the rich and powerful

are not listening


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

28 thoughts on “Toxic garden”

  1. “Paradise is solitude, the quiet of nature.” – paradise is the bribe from the haves to the have nots to get their perpetual servitude in return of a promise that will never to be delivered in one’s life time.

      1. There’s so much we could do but we don’t. We’ve put men on the moon but haven’t managed to make a can opener that works, so I don’t hold out much hope for anything really difficult to create.

      2. There are times I seriously wonder. Nice contrast over there. It’s not always about creative things, but also with allocation of resources much like how countries can fund wars but mysteriously have no money for education or employment opportunities.

      3. Ah, that’s because there’s no money to be made out of public education and public healthcare. There’s plenty to be made in the private sector, especially drugs, but nothing beats the good old dead cert bet of armaments. You can even sell guns to both sides in any conflict and nobody bats an eyelid.

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