Although I now spend most of my time in the UK, I still work with people in Spain and – due mostly to the lack of response to my phone calls – I am very conscious of the fact that today is a fiesta.
In fact it’s the fiesta de la inmaculada concepción – celebrating the immaculate conception of Mary, mother of Jesus.
So, here’s an unscheduled mid-week (re)post of a poem I wrote as an example of ekphrasis, using the painting by Tiepolo as a prompt.
Es injusto, ¿sabes? They’ve hung me here,
expect me to balance on this blue-green planet,
not to slip and do myself a permanent
impaled on that luna creciente, despite the worm
at my feet and this beastly little cherub
pulling at my cloak while his colegas try
and sneak a peek up under my robe;
I’m pretty sure that even that one
over on your right who’s looking
rather more demure is actually
checking in the mirror, just in case
he gets a better view.
As for the clothes, ¡qué asco
de ropa me han dado! Couldn’t they afford
a bit of lapis lazuli? They call me
“Queen of Heaven” and yet they dress me
in the dowdiest of drab without a flounce
or furbelow. It’s no good telling me
my sandals have peep toes – sin plataformas,
ni tacones they’re not exactly what you’d call
“letizios”, now, are they? And what about
that blessed bird? Everybody thinks
that it’s a crown of stars I’m wearing, whereas,
in fact, it’s all the good-luck guano
Paloma, there, has found it in her sacred corazón
– or elsewhere – to contribute to this travesty
of taste. No es justo, like I said;
it isn’t fair: here I am, in Spain, hung
on the Prado wall, while out there
in the street, they’re living la movida Madrileña.
Can’t anybody see I’d really rather be
a flamenco dancer?