My art education is spotty at best. Marie Fox introduced me to Bernini and Dürer a few years ago and I was entranced by the work of both. She reminded me last week of the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa, and asked if I’d ever written a poem around it. I hadn’t. So this happened.
Bernini’s Ecstatic Teresa (Under the Wing of Dürer)
It is not the white petals of magnolia,
the soft and heady tatters of rose,
the dense and resinous labdanum with
its feculent note of freshly turned soil,
not the sharp and sweet neroli flowers
falling on her face, nor the slow amber
burn of honey dripping through her lips
onto her tongue, but the spice of lilies
filling her nostrils with the scent of you
sweating and urgent, skin of wet marble
on the green moss under the moon,
that tilts her head back, mouth open,
eyes closing, intent on the sound of wings
in the night like the wind moving in pines.