The virgin of the rocks

Where is her home?
Is this a cave
Of abandonment
By the church?

Who is she really?
Where is her apron?
And her bread oven?
Where is the bed
She slept in
That night?

Who are these children
That later on in the picture
Bruise their shins
On these rocks?

That sleep next to pools of water
and beds of seaweed

Where are the donkeys
In the stable?
Where is Egypt?

Oh Leonardo
what is this all about?

the virgin
of the rocks
sits in a cave by the sea
for Leonardo

she smiles at her child
who doesn’t know her
very well

or even belong
to her

is she his wife
and child
is she
a trick of the light

his model
should be sitting
in an Italian vineyard
with a big family
running all around her

he is not really
in a cave
and she is not real

and is the child
he has painted
a corpse
from his sketchbook?

Was a beautiful man
With a beautiful mind

Who had no
Beautiful life
Or beautiful wife

Did he drink
Or womanise
Or was he trained
In the art of gentilism
Too much
To be his real self

On his death bed
He apologised
For not giving the world
More of his paintings

The world is hungry
And is unforgiving
And has a mouth of ice
And teeth like granite
And there is much flesh
Between its teeth
And I am quite certain
He could never
Paint enough
And why bother

Which is what
He could really be saying
To the King
Beside his deathbed

In the virgin of the rocks
The tide
Will be rising soon
And the holy family
Will drown
And so would Leonardo
If he stayed there

Which would take
The lives
Of two of the most important people
To have ever lived

Leonard and Christ

But its his imagination
That paints
The cave

Maye he drifted alone
One day
Along a rocky shoreline

In a crimson gown
And his fair hair
Blown by the wind
And his blue eyes
And singing
A beautiful song
He came upon this cave

He didn’t give a fig
About what the pope taught
Or about what Michalangelo said

He found peace
In the castle of a king
And comfort
In a kings arms
As he died

As if his whole life
Had been in turmoil
Dealing with envy
And rivalry
And angry people
And wars

That’s nice
That’s like heaven
For a great artist
Like Leonardo

Paint Leonardo paint
You could even be a saint
A beautiful man with a beautiful mind
Paint Leonardo paint

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