Poems of the Week

Holy Smoke

by Julia Griffin

Woman discovers Renaissance masterpiece in kitchen:
Christ Mocked, by the 13th-century painter Cimabue, could be worth up to €6m”
—The Guardian

In a French cuisine till lately hung an icon (Christ on gold)
Which has just been viewed and valued and is shortly to be sold.
Long it watched its aged owner stir ragout and tend the grill;
Now it’s locked inside a showroom, dollar-priced at seven mill.

Kitchens now from Tarbes to Arras are sustaining piercing looks.
What a gain for art and beauty! What a turn-up for the cooks!
Cuisiniers and cognoscenti are bilaterally rocked
To conceive above a hotplate Cimabue’s “Jesus Mocked.”

On his faded golden background Christ is standing in a scrum:
Nineteen strangers, arms extended, mark Him out for martyrdom.
Still, it seems a lot of silver. Will this sell for seven mill?
With allowance for inflation, very probably it will.