Sunday, December 24, 2023

Distilled in One of Many

 The Adoration of the Magi
—Painting by Joseph Van Bredael
(Flanders, before 1739)

—Poetry by Stephen Kingsnorth, 
Coedpoeth, Wrexham, Wales
—Public Domain Painting Courtesy
of Stephen Kingsnorth

With hinterland of layered planes
in nuanced palette, bringing forth
the miniature on wider scale,
particularity is here,
a scandal of theology.
A figure born of tiny span,
whose stretch of life but similar,
should be accord, eternity,
infinity as brought to birth,
in both geography and year,
a stroke of Masterpiece in deed,
though type for God of our desire.

So artist, craft, epiphany,
theophany for one and all,
incarnate set for every,
of time, place, historicity?
The horse for camel, barn for cave,
exotic in the Flemish street,
’tis only flesh identity
that could be dressed wherever met.

The Father, name shared, mentor, guide,
though subject one in three declared,
the tetragrammaton in spell.
Maria mother, Joseph here,
their christen, tree, inheritance
of culture, faith on canvas laid,
initially, sign limited;
did contract bring battle of Wittes,
with copies sold, originals?

Distilled in one of many seen,
if babe, God vulnerable shown,
then take these silks, satins, brocades,
remember livestock, stink of straw,
and translate them to rubble, war,
for foreign kings, shepherds before,
show all reveal selves, open door.


—Medusa, with thanks to Stephen Kingsnorth for his fine poem on this 2024 Christmas Eve, and to him for the painting of the Magi, and to Joe Nolan for Old Father Christmas~

Old Father Christmas
—Public Domain Illustration
Courtesy of Joe Nolan, Stockton, CA

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