my C***mas card‏

          Madonna and Child with Canon Joris van der Paele - Jan van Eyck

           Madonna and Child with Canon Joris van der Paele” 


                                          Jan van Eyck


though I’ve long professed to not being
a Christian, having opted for the more
colourful pageant of Ancient Greece’s
Olympian divinities, and its attendant
metaphysical perspective, wherein
nature is honoured for its bounty
rather than saddled with the guilt of
Original – I ask you – Sin, I nevertheless
revere the spirit that spurred great
painters to such spectacular, even
exalted, heights  
in Bruges we saw van Eyck‘s Madonna
the blue of the prelate’s cape on the left
still reverberates in my subconscious
as though I’d discovered a new colour
the blue on the right on St George, the
patron saint of van der Paele, who
commissioned the painting, rendered
appropriately humble, even kneeling, 
in white, is only slightly less impressive
for being not less pungent but more pale,
noble yet understated, gold armour doing
the definitive rest
the ecclesiastic is St Donatian, patron
saint of Bruges, who knew how to
dress, apparently, for so vaunted an 
merry C***mas
may your capes ever be as eloquent 
may your blues be ever as sublime