The Devil Breathed Out- a poem

Hi everyone,

This one just came to me the other night. I was very tired and I fell asleep thinking about it. As a result, what I produced was a little disjointed so I sat on it for a few days until the chance arose to spend some time wandering around the National Gallery. I always find something new to look at when I go there, and this was no different. I found myself drawn into rooms that I’ve never really spent much time in before. There, I found myself looking at many pictures depicting the dire consequences of our actions, mainly with a religious backdrop. I found some particular images that stayed with me and then I sat down and set about adding them into the original ideas that I had for this poem. It’s quite bleak.

I’m quite a positive person so I’m not sure why so much of my poetry ends up somber like this. I think I just like to explore these ideas in the safety of this form of expression. It throws up a load of darkened imaginings that I can then cast away from my mind quite easily, returning to my usual self. I guess its the same psychology that makes us watch horror films or grim Netflix box set dramas about murder and crime. Fun for a time to wallow in these ideas, but even more fun to loose them on an unsuspecting reader. 🙂

Here are the images that I used for inspiration…

Nicolas Poussin (1633) The Adoration of the Golden Calf

Judith Leyster (1635) A Boy and a Girl With a Cat and an Eel
Matthias Stom (1630) Salome receives the Head of John the Baptist
Rembrandt (1637) Belshazzar’s Feast
Cornelis van Haarlem (1588) Two Followers of Cadmus Devoured by a Dragon

And here’s the poem…

For now, I’ll leave it here. I’d love to know what you think.

The Devil Breathed Out

Lessons are there throughout our time,

Yet we wander in and out of line.

Wanting not to be afraid,

Knowing our accounts aren’t paid.

Concrete towers sprout upwards from the Earth,

Our vain attempts to prove our worth.

We think too much or too little it seems,

Sink our hearts in these useless schemes.

Keep our distance, eyes to the ground,

Ignoring what is all around.

Pallid, yellow growth of our collective souls,

That sit waterlogged in overfilled bowls.

We’ve inherited this land,

Removed the wrapping as planned.

But why pretend it worked out well

When it’s just a cracked and worthless shell?

Play with a cat and we’re sure to get scratched

Vain wonderings of dominion dispatched

While surrounding us are sympathisers

Hoarding cares like shrivelled, ageing misers

Customer Services won’t pick up the phone;

We’ll be defeated by a level tone.

Plastic future on which we were raised,

Nothing but freshmen waiting to be hazed.

Presented with the head we so indignantly demanded

We recognise our visage as to us its duly handed

Our contributions weighed and wanting they are found

Until in a sea of platitudes we’re ultimately drowned

It’s like some tyrant desires the last laugh,

And gets us to fill our own acid bath.

Stroking our hair as the liquid flows higher

To the sound of an angelic, digital choir.

Cheers for reading,


The Ballad of Bethany Hilliard – a poem

Chord Progression – a poem

Your Unseen Confidants – a poem

7 thoughts on “The Devil Breathed Out- a poem

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