Thursday, April 13, 2006

Pavone della Cristallo in Assisi


la bagascia in il luongo sacro esponendo al sole?

The basilica...
attracting pilgrims worldwide...
The saint... the animals he looks upon... his stigmata... and century’s remembrance.


And today there is one animal on monastery grounds...
a crystal peacock
preening fowl attracting light
refracting rays, attracting eyes?
distracting the reverent?

in human form
supine figure sprawled atop the wall
back of hand blocking brown eyes from the glare
beads of sweat gleaming on midriff
a languid arm hangs
a knee bends to the sky
soaking in the rays and breeze


Yes, a sensual spectacle amid the sanctity of Franciscans. But is not this act in the spirit of the Order itself -- free of restraint and routine, mindful of joy? Perhaps, but the essence of the Order’s vocation is still poverty -- the living of a tramp.
Our peacock, on the other hand, is another kind of... (ahem) ...tramp.

When warned in the past against strutting herself in strange lands, she would defiantly sashay forth anyway, ruffling more than a few feathers.
Attracting the clamorous attention of i lupi di Firenze is her goal. Man-hungry, she knows how to play to the gallery -- it’s the same in any land, isn’t it?
“Eccoci! Eccoci! Che ragazza!”
The howling creeps closer, the eyes of dozens gaping at her supple body...
moving closer...
closer...

E poi...
And then...
Ancora senza pericolo!
The baying beasts are then beasts at bay
After vamping with brutes our peacock is once again safe.


Back to the present, we see the crystal peacock still reposed upon a centuries-old wall.
Still basking before the basilica with the sun glistening on her skin.
And one has to wonder...
Is it sheer luck that this bird escapes every scrape with fangs hungry for her flesh?
or is there an invisible, intervening hand at work...?


As Francis himself did once tame the wolf, perhaps the Lord works through this Saint to ever watch over...
...to guard beauty from the beast...

Stai attento, per amor del cielo