These small paintings are based loosely on
the original Medieval Catholic,
Christian imagery of Tarot playing cards
(before their expropriation by
the pseudo-mystic and parlor occult interpreters
of the 18th and 19th centuries
whose misguided ideas
form the popular understanding of the cards today).
All paintings are acrylic and ink on wood, 5 1/2 X 10 1/2 inches. copyright Tornillo Fine Art
His cares were birds that never landed
His tales were words that never ended
His mind an orchard never tended
Poor fool, his trail through trials wended.
I. The Charlatan
All is not as it would seem
Your future like a fortune gleams
The cards and stars and secrets stream
In mumbled medicine making dreams
III. The Empress
Mother’s mandate’s majesty enthroned
Her soft law surreptitiously ingrown
Catechumen’s conscience helped and honed
Till we her oughts and obligations own
And not but only her code is condoned
IV. The Emperor
Our Father figure’s maxim: ‘Might makes right’
Who art on earth and out of heaven’s sight
Thy kingdoms come and go like day to night
Thy Will is done on us always, poor’s plight
Days bread we ask but pay with Empire’s bite
Moral Mistress magisters the scales
Reveals the truth, and falsehood she unveils
Her judgment’s just and justice never fails
Her righteousness and right rightly prevails
(Though hers before the Final Judgment pales)
IX. The Hermit
A bent and aged soul looks for the child
Within the bent and aged form reviled. Alone his journey inward into wilds
Where Wisdom plays and his past present smiled.
How is it that we wander so beguiled
And search not like the hermit for our child?
VII. The Chariot
In the procession the chariot wheels
Clatter of hooves and two stallions reel
Triumphal carriage! The multitude kneels
Parade of Triumphs the plain truth reveals
Which centuries later occultists conceal
Maiden of mettle through suffering stands
Taming the beast with her will and her hands.
“They shrink not away from life’s dread demands
Intrigues of evil or treacherous plans
Who steadfast in courage learn self-command.”
X. The Wheel Of Fortune
Come gather round people, Stop! What’s that sound?
The least in the kingdom now wears the crown
The little- remembered will then be renowned
The last shall be first, the lost shall be found
Who is it that turns Fortune’s wheel around?
VI. The Lovers
Two lovers, true lovers, two become one
Two bodies, new bodies orbit the sun
Together to weather come what may come
Too ra loo, too ra loo, dum dee dee dum
Two lovers, true lovers, two wedded are one.
Your night will come and also comes your porter
To cut you down and carry you ‘cross the border
Bishop and beast alike there is no order
All bow before his banner of No Quarter
All tremble at the harvest and the horror.
II. The Lady Pope
Popess posed in Pope’s position
Proffers sublime superstition
In her inner intuition
And her errored erudition
First religion’s first fruition
Comfort comes with no condition
XIX. The Sun
Glorious golden disc, bring the day
Warm gilded kiss carried down on your ray
Eye of God, God himself, so ancients say
Eternal diurnal dancer at play
Permanent pilgrim on patient pathway
XVI. The Tower
Tower’s powered push into the sky
Flashing fire falling from on high
Shards in showers, flailing figures fly
Edifice of artifice and lies
Cracked and crumbling tired doctrine dies.
XVII. The Star
Stella Bethlehem o’er wonders did reside
Stella Mare ancient sailor’s way did guide
Stella Blue on rusted strings three fingers slide
Above us still does the fair star abide:
A wonder, guide and muse for starry-eyed
Modest mistress’ middle way divine
Miracle makes water into wine
Then remakes water, recalls Cana’s sign
Much and moderation intertwine.
Humility has heaven’s whole design.
XII. The Hanged Man (Traitor)
Upside turned down outside the city gate
Inside the hanged man hides his heart of hate
Upon his lips the tell-tale traitor’s trait
The twisted kiss that comes to twist your fate
No man as easy murders as one’s mate.
V. The Pope
Preposterous premise, ‘the Vicar of Christ’
Palace and pomp, “Perignon? Please, how nice!”
The baptized in barrios eat beans and rice
How, vicar, like Christ? to be more precise:
How can the cat wash the feet of the mice?
XV. The Devil
“Eat the fruit, you will not die.”
The endless, evil, braying cry.
“Eat the fruit, you will not die!”
XVIII. The Moon
Receiver and reflector ringed in white
Principle of feminine and night,
Illumine us in gentleness and light,
Circled in your certain cycled flight,
Serenaded by your naked beauty bright.
XX. The Judgment
The trumpet blasts and blasting bursts the grave
From cairn and casket catacomb and cave
Come Nob and Nan, the nun, the knight, the knave
Pray while you may that all may then be saved
When judgment comes to CEO and slave.
XXI. The World
“Wake up to find that you are the eyes
Of the world!” Wake now with childlike surprise
Wonder is written on wide blue-eyed skies
Life lives forever and only death dies
Like the Star, Moon and Sun, arise child, arise!