The Last Judgment

by Eric G. Muller

No escape for the naked hoard
blasted into the abyss
with fanfare trumpets
by angelic cherubs
perched on firm-thin clouds
stripping the sinners of any

Horned hogs and wild horses
trample the freshly fallen flesh-grapes
underneath their horn-sickle hoofs
leaving the pulp to ferment
into blood-wine for
Belzebub’s frenzied

Some sit stunned
in their disemboweled state
their gray spines exposed
as the sinewy demon-lackeys
move on to the next
with their simple tools of

Between the twisted bodies
a 7 headed serpent
bares its cumulative fangs
ready to down 7 miscreants
with one hiss of a stroke
escorted by flying snake-swans
to take care of the dodging rest

Desperate women sink their teeth
into one another like rabid apes
while a bald, randy Bachus
hops on a straggler and smashes
his gob with a grapefruit-rock
in front of a spent
four-boobed wench

A looming and three-faced
monster-man with spiral antlers
and massive-membrane wings
spread wide like a peacock erection
casually devours a nude
and kicking Adonis

To his left a muscled ogre
shoves a long, sturdy rod
with a flaming mop-head
up a contorted reprobate’s anus
while a hefty nearby sister
has a fire-fisted pole
twisted deep into her vagina

And the stripped bodies
keep on tumbling
into the wail-pit of
broken, dismembered humanity
driving the demons and fellow deviants
crazy in their lust to meet out
pain and misery

Only scythe-armed Death
and old man Time – who extends
the you-got-it-coming hourglass –
stand tall and still in the inferno
that’s painted in the cupola
for the frail congregants to apprehend
while caught up in fear inducing rhetoric

All this in Firenze’s Duomo
where the Last Judgment
invokes the revenge-lust
of Roman law
rather than God’s fury
for the lack of love

Florence, Italy



Two stalks bend
back their thin
curved necks
and clapper with red

abandon, before
copulating in a flutter of black
and white on top
of Mount Ayatoulouk’s

highest column

overlooking Saint John’s quiet
tomb, resting in the ruins
of the forgotten church
of the early East

Moments later they soar into
the evening blue and circle
high in the afterglow
of their thrill.
Ephesus, Turkey


Pilgrim’s Palm

In the valley between
thumb and pointer
a village nestles
where pilgrims gather
to process down the lifeline
to the junction where fate
determines the brambly path
and young dame destiny

filling the well for the weary
knowing of the maze ahead
that’s crisscrossed with choices
the easiest of which lead toward
Fingers’ End where sharp
nails scratch a map
deep into the flesh
leaving scars they need to read
in order to get back


In the vestibule of the Basilica
she stole a blue veil
and aired it gently
over her black-haired head

She smiled as she felt
the cloth flow down to her knees
bending to the movement till the stone
in its cool embrace welcomed her

Folded low she sprinkled
her blessings over the marble slabs
that softened and gave way
to the ground beneath

The earth drank her
heart while she hid
her shame beneath
her new-won stole

Folded Arms
(After viewing Christ with Folded Arms by Rembrandt van Rijn)

His arms weren’t always folded,
But hung to his side
Till the pain in his heart
Grew too strong and he
Lifted them to the wound,
Folding the world in his embrace,
Like protective wings,
Warming the hurt into
A love that shone through
His red robe and wrist,
Where it lingered for a while
Like a little sun.

Now, his face a little pale, and
Tilted slightly to the right,
Patiently ponders what must come;
And for a moment his hair
Hardens into a crown
Of thorns that he’ll
Soon be wearing, bearing,
Till his skin bleeds
Dew dabbed roses.

Hyde Collection in Glens Falls
Note: X-rays show that the arms were originally down at his side

Eric G. Müller teaches literature and drama at the Hawthorne Valley High School in New York. He is a founding member of the Alkion Center and the director of the education department. He has written two novels, Rites of Rock (Adonis Press 2005) and Meet Me at the Met (Plain View Press, 2010), as well as a collection of poetry, Coffee on the Piano for You (Adonis Press, 2008). Poetry, articles and short stories have appeared in various journals, anthologies and magazines.