Rain in Mandalay
I had been lost sight of until...
January 16, 2002
I was a prisoner of war.
They caught me in Burma.
I held some nails in my hand a crown of thorns
around my wrist.
Unmixed with awe.
Fearing suffering in the midst of sins of the
Becoming an unidentified figure alfresco on the
Caressing La Dolce Vita.
The hotel room in Rome was filled with the good
things of life.
An Italian bed trimmed in gold leaf covered in
A Venitian mirror.
Asparagus soup served in a tureen with a ladle.
The union of two stars Atair and Vega in the
The birth of Venus.
A lantern on the Kyoto bridge.
Rain on the window pane.
I had been lost sight of until I turned up at the
sale of prisoners of war at the Berlin Museum in 1884.
I was taken on a trip round paradise by Dante
escorted by angels. Instrument of the devil.
The storm passed.
A light rain fell unexpectedly as I reached the
adoration of the magi.
I was hanged and burned at the stake in the Piazza
della Signoria hitting the nail on the head.
Soaked to the skin waiting for the storm to pass
I watched the assassins kill Giuliano de Medici and
wound his brother Lorenzo while at the cathedral in
Florence in 1478.
The assassins were hanged by the neck in a building
allongside the Palazzo del Signoria.
The accomplices were hung by their feet.
The memories faded.
In 1492 Lorenzo the magnificent died.
My popularity as a painter began to decline.
Changing fashions were favoring new painters like
Titian, Michelangelo and Raphael outlasting the gilded
Renaissance of wild roses, grapes, silver eucalyptus
leaves with champaign.
Gasping for breath I made a sorbet of roses in
September dusk on lace made in white washed cottages
in Ireland where Chinese cliff swallows virtually
disappeared from view .
Interest in me revived only in the 21st century
with a yellow oriental gaze.
BUT IT WAS TOO LATE.
The heat in Burma had turned me into eyelet lace
with a needle, bobbins, bones and pins.
When it rained in Mandalay.