Poetic Perspectives: Two Paintings

In this week’s edition of “Poetic Perspectives,” Melinda Arthur ʼ25 presents two poems, inspired by the paintings “Starry Night” by Vincent van Gogh and “Garden of Earthly Delights” by Hieronymus Bosch.

Poetic Perspectives: Two Paintings

Inspired by “Starry Night”:

"Starry Night" by Vincent van Gogh. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Dear me, you, sky, blue

//what do you seek (does the tucked away flame in the gloomy, sharp corner, contribute to the cloying sense of yellow, sickly brightness in every star?  In the cage of your demise, the question is; what strokes are the boldest–notice how they whirl, rolling in this dreamscape surroundings, breathing in the higher power of the G x zero zero d–God. The townspeople look up at the waves of red, intermixed with blue, swirling about the sky, creating an intangible burden of  ‘what do we do now?’ the church that reaches the sky, twirls its pin-point cross in a curve, hoping to hook the moon and the flames right back down to earth. Do you notice the crimson dripping down your ear that outlines the mini houses way past the breeze? Do you? Tell me that you do. For example, each dash, wave, line is made for you to connect the dots and create a new type of syntax awash in blood-orange discipline, regime, & routine. Meanwhile, the mountains sink into spots far, far away in the blurring vision of the sky’s glasses, twisting till they are one or nothing; together / and / apart.) from this painting?

Inspired by “Garden of Earthly Delights”:

“Garden of Earthly Delights” by Hieronymus Bosch. Photo courtesy of Prcryl.

crawl out of the serene rivulet

on your crimson stained hands and knees

performing a dainty, twisted movement

that crumples your woolen socks,

to witness the bubble-gum wrapped figure

echo a connection of marital ties between the ceramic-colored

bodies resting in the palm of his hand.

pause to feel, in circular motions, the smoothness of the shell-rose bird

before it takes off in search of the saffron-covered peach it caws the s-u-n.

swim in emerald, past the cerulean,

lithe with the vertebrae of a three-legged cat,

till you reach the edges of the whale-infested ground.

Then, allow the tiny bees of prey to suckle honey

from the sticky-red blooms that line your skin.


now empty,

emerge from the lined silk of a rotten clam’s house

with a lover whose skin mesh with pleasure

lines the inside of your eyelids heavy with a gaze

that freezes gaunt planes of waxen, melting at the tips of mosaic-patterned fingers.

grasp the √ of  bunched up socks ÷ the lost puffs of solitary breaths + the racing pulse of your still-beating heart – hands learning to map boulevards of desire × the quivering flames of  yearning turned upside down = being found weak-kneed, over wispy plumes, flying not towards the sun, but into the inky sky.


watching carefully with tear-stained eyes,

stand on the soles of your silly, shark socks

to take inventory of the sky

slick with floods that paint the ground irregular.

blink away the mist caused by the torrential downpour

and mold the bones of your neck,

stiff with disuse and petrified from the movements of speed,

to glance

up, up, and away;

all to avoid sloshing the scarlet that colors

the pink of your mouth unto the wet ground.

remain silent till the softness of the mud sinks you whole

then hurl the collection of bones known as your body forward

with the speed of a bullet released from its masters barrel,

tossing and turning,

as the stalks of grain graze hungrily at the pile of blood-soaked flesh.

Escape. Escape. From the garden of earthly delights.