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Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Rage of Genius

Chalk Portrait of Caravaggio: Ottavio Leoni 1621


Ocher crusted edge of palette knife
Those you trusted now seek your life
This criminal; a man without a home
Tacit tones subliminal; all the toast of Rome

Stone throwing rages and street fights
Now alone and forced into flight
Ranucio is dead and you, badly wounded
Fled to Alban and from Rome hounded

Befriended by Colonna, still hardened
Determined and grim until your pardon
In Valletta you paint at the Oratory
The Beheading of St. John, a martyr’s story

Gold in your pockets, a snarl on your lip
Roaming the streets with sword on your hip
Knighted and from knighthood fallen
A fugitive now from the isles of Malta

Locked in the Fort Castel Sant’ Angelo
You escape the vengeance of pious pope
Your paintings with your ship set sail
But you were locked up drunk in jail

Broke and broken; no coin to your name
You die pursuing your fleeting fame
Only masterpieces remain to bestow
On the world the name Caravaggio

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Boone, North Carolina, United States
North Carolina poet and musician Fabian G. Franklin invites you to join him on a poetic journey through the soul.