Pity the censorious


Evil writhes in glistening coils in the

scaled and furred hoofed and clawed


glistens in luxury and concupiscence

the moistly slip-sliding of nakedness.


Women tempting with apples breasts moon-

buttocked laugh at the pure eyes averted.


The paintbrush probes scalpel-like beneath

the skin delighting in entrails devoured


and the charred flavour of flaming hair

a dab of the branding iron the flaying knife


all the devious instruments for prising out pain

you paint with delectation. Only a priest-painter


clothed in the hair shirt of purity and self-

inflicted pain an artist with an aura of sanctity


could weigh in the balance

and find so many wanting.


Pity the censorious for theirs is the arid desert

of ash the blood-soaked sand of Golgotha.

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.

14 thoughts on “Pity the censorious”

  1. Those who lust
    With eyes averted
    Are the loudest
    To protest
    Censor their hearts
    They can not
    So silence others
    Who find beauty in
    What nature provides
    It’s always the darkest
    Under the lamp

  2. You have found a very interesting religious theme. If I have understood it correctly, the first lines are a description of the biblical serpent. Bosch had also painted very gloomy pictures. But here you made a great choice. Thank you for sharing, Jane! Best wishes, Michael

    1. There’s so much speculation about what he was about with this painting, but nobody knows. Every detail meant something to him and maybe did refer to something everyone at the time understood, but if they did, thank goodness we’ve forgotten!

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