Within the painted picture’s frame by Jonathan Beale

A Triptych


For C. H. 


Panel I


ab initio*


Beneath the waves the currents strength

The mane; vast, swirling, spiralling, uncompromised

As the thought of St Sebastian and as thought as absolute

As Aquinas’   – the masses who occupy the distance

Who fall and fade into the background.

The masses make up and swim in their mediocrity

A happy sea to swim in. waters of renaissance


Panel II


Condicio sine qua non **


That song: you know the one.

That song – that stopped you DEAD!

Dead!  The nudum pactum*** of the raw –

Four – on – four that drives them on and on.

The vein of your past grows on in the garden

Of your might and magnanimity.

The cortex maps the past too much.

In the scented garden there is no need

No, no need for vision

The right path is always found always

Can become lost in the morning mist.


Panel III


leges humanae nascuntur, vivunt, moriuntur**** 


With that sense certainty: the French have a word for it.

As the air reverberates with swirling conversations

“…the polymath, one who is interested in everything

and nothing else.”  °


Expansion of self – in the ravine between the hemispheres

The waters carry fresh and brine at the same time.

Clothed in silk and in goat hair

The external world of the unexplained

The changeable world from Babel

To Père Lachaise Cemetery where Chopin’s

Nocturnes echo on into the night

As the river ripples flow on

Endlessly into the night. 


*      From the beginning

**     A condition without which it could not be

***    Naked promise

**** The laws of man are born, live, and die

°      From a conversation between Susan Sontag and Umberto Eco

°°     Expansion of the sum

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