Da Vinci’s Drawing

In the Venetian Accademia,
I stood quietly
before a study of flowers—
their bends and curls precise,
The paper, covered with
Leonardo’s sketches,
was a plot of possibility—
depth, shadow,
fist-like buds, pert pistils,
ready to strike.

As I stood in worship,
the tour guide came and went,
looked with approval at each stamen,
each leaf, then left,
but kept returning,
spouting opinions—
the work’s subtle beauty drowned, forgotten,
in a storm of studied facts,
detached from awe.

The blossoms were shielded
by a protective pane.
They were hot-house flowers.
but if the glass were to shatter,
the blooms would wrap their vines
around each irreverent gawker.

This is the crime:
The framing and the hanging can mislead.
Like a garden,
like a god,
like anything that matters,
art has demands.
If you are going to study it and stay detached—
keep walking.

"The Divine Tour," poems by Annabelle MoseleyAvailable from Finishing Line Press.

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