The Artist

The palette looks to me
A seal upon a scroll
A sleeping “Let there be”
In each dollop and smear
I raise the disc where head descends to heart
Converting chaos into cosmos
By an art as fixed and flowing
As waterfalls on forest-mantled mountains
In the gloaming
Or wafting smoke from chimneys over frosted tiles
In moon-glow blue
Or paragons as pristine as alabaster boxes
Or Pandora’s
Her eyes turning heavenward for mercy’s aid
Or pardon

Yes, all these and more await their life 
From colors firm as fresh cream formed
From earth’s heart or growing thing
Be the hue of lapis, garnet, jade, or rose
Jasper, onyx, amethyst
Each one a priestly stone awaiting my hand
Hovering above as the Dove did over the deep
Til brush and eye converge with color on the canvas
To announce the fiat lux entrusted to me
Forming it until the palette comes to rest again
And I with it

The canvas stares alive, agape, awaiting
Revelations of pygmalions or portals to another age
Come, beholder, take my hand as guide
For I’ve captured this moment not to instruct you
But to include you, for it will be incomplete without you
A mere sail of a ship sent into flattened doldrums
Sagging o’er slumping oarsmen chained
Where no wind blows until you breathe upon it

The frame becomes a servant to the work
An ‘Amen’ to the ‘Yes’ I’ve finished, two witnesses
Serving also you, beholder, royalty in cognito
Clay vessel whose other name is Imago Dei
You too are worthy of the escort of the frame 
Chariots and horses of fire bearing you
Into the world we sojourn toward
Beyond the reach of ruddy dust and eyes

© Kurt Mähler

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