Gold Teeth and Crucifixes
After Piero della Francesca’s ‘Flagellation of Christ’ c1445/1450
Splashing the hills around Urbino
with vibrant yellow, early Spring Genista
perfumes too the wandering pathways
where, in that long ago,
poets, painters and philosophers
strolled arm in arm with their learned host
Federico Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino.
And each hill boasts also its splash
of blood-red poppies, unwitting reminders
of mercenaries steeped in gore
and crucifixes wrought from the golden teeth of the slain.
Everywhere the nightmare of perfect beauty:
ideal worlds where the flagellated
writhe comfortably within the scheme of things,
and gorgeous lackeys discuss perspective
in courtyards of terrifying perfection.
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© 2011 Tony Frisby
Brighton-based Irish poet Tony Frisby performs in Thanet and has been published by Waterloo Press.