by Eric G. Muller

(Written while viewing Vincent van Gogh�s �Pieta� in the Vatican)


What arcane prescience

made one-eared Vincent

paint the Pieta during the

raven-year of his own

premature death?



no longer bent over the native soil

the peasant Madonna leans forward

in her churning, wild, blue garment

giving Him away,


like a fruit of the field,

those she�s harvested, tended

and handed out her whole life long.


And in her sacrifice she offers

the worn and battered body

to the world,

while her smile holds the knowledge

she�s gained from nature

that all death is seed to new life �

never more than now!


What holy premonition

made this priestly painter

depict himself in the limp likeness

of the one who is hated

more than he is loved?


His death,

the sleep

from which

we have to awake �

A wake.



(Inspired by a still life by Giorgio Morandi in the Vatican Museum)


goblets, glasses,

pewters, pitchers,�

jars, jugs,

cups, cauldrons,

mugs, magnums,

bottles, basins,

vials, vases;


filled and emptied,

emptied and filled,

broken, mended, discarded �

and found;

round and around

and upside down

and maybe back upright;


their form

mostly veiled

through function,

like you from me �


us from them �




He Let it Happen

(Written while viewing the frescoes by Fra Angelico in San Marco, Florence)


He let it happen,

���� the kiss, the spitting;

He let it happen,

���� the mocking and cursing;

He let it happen,

���� the whipping and beating;

He let it happen,

���� the ongoing goading to Golgotha

He let it happen,

���� the nailing, the pounding;

He let it happen,

���� the crowning and crucifixion;

He let it happen,

���� the final thrust of Longinus� lance

He let it happen,

���� knowing

It had to happen;

It all had to happen,

���� except for the breaking

���� of his bones;

that could not happen

���� so that the rest

���� could happen.



A Part in Us


there is a part in us

that betrays


it�s the yeast

that makes us rise


it�s the beast

that makes us fall


we get baked

or burned


depending on whether we

remember or forget


the part in us

that betrays


����������� San Marco, Florence, Italy


� Eric G. M�ller teaches literature and drama at the Hawthorne Valley High School.  He is a� founding member of the Alkion Center where he heads the education department. His first novel, Rites of Rock (Adonis Press, 2005), examines the phenomenon of rock music. In Coffee on the Piano for You (Adonis Press, 2008) M�ller presents old and new poetry written mostly while traveling or drinking coffee.  His second novel, Meet Me at the Met will appear in the summer of 2010 (Plain View Press).  Articles, short stories and poetry have appeared in various journals and magazines.



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