am a wanderer by choice–
A preference I oft rejoice;
I pay no heed to any voice
Except my very own.
Through villages and glades I roam
With no desire to claim a home
Or share my name by tongue or tome
Lest sins I must atone.
I walk this life alone...
Upon this twilight aptly blessed
When men of faith aspire to rest,
I set upon an anxious quest
To flee a vengeful storm;
But as I stagger up the street,
Damp cobblestones beneath my feet,
I find doors bolted in defeat
To thwart my freezing form.
I shiver to get warm...
But what is this to catch my eye
Between the earth and angry sky?
A door ajar which dares defy
The fury of the gale;
Persuaded by a blinding flash,
Across the sodden street I splash
And o'er the threshold boldly crash
In effort to prevail.
Death waits if I should fail...
A silver bell above the door
Rings with a voice I've heard before
While I stand dripping on the floor
Within a tiny room;
No living soul is glimpsed at all
Or answers my expectant call;
I have no hint what might befall
Or lurk beneath the gloom.
Dead silence, like a tomb...
As I squint, perceptions shifting,
Watching shrouds of darkness lifting,
My attention keeps on drifting
Towards a shadowed nook;
On their easels, neatly covered,
Six large paintings gently hovered;
Works of art yet undiscovered–
Or, perhaps, forsook.
I must go steal a look...
Unveiled, the first is rather trite–
A study sketched in black and white
Which shows how dark defines the light
As night contrasts the day;
As observations lingers on
My first impressions are foregone;
I sense my passions strangely drawn
To interim shades of gray.
I shrug and turn away...
The next is hard to ascertain–
It's not unlike a water stain
As if once used to capture rain
Or trap the morning dew;
I risk a touch, the pigment smears
And trickles down like human tears,
Drips to the floor, then disappears
Beyond my narrow view.
I search my heart anew...
The third I think I understand–
A painting filled with sea and land,
Created by a skillful hand
And brushed with classic style.
Within a maple's spreading lace,
I think I see the artist’s face
Within the leaves he dabbed in place
With a delighted smile.
I marvel for awhile...
The forth painting is quite bizarre–
The sun, the moon, one blazing star
Perform a concert from afar
Against a velvet sky;
In perfect harmony they sing
While eons form an endless ring
And autumn dances with the spring
Before their time is nigh.
I take a breath, and sigh...
A touch of whimsy marks the fifth
Which tells a most amusing myth
Of fishes toting birds forthwith
Between two distant shores;
On finny friends, the birds recline
As if intended by design,
Propelled across the surging brine
By love instead of oars.
My ache for friendship soars...
Still pondering five paintings past,
I stand before the sixth and last
And pray the artist had surpassed
The rest by some degree;
But as I pull the velvet drape,
I stagger back, my mouth agape–
The face portrayed can not escape
The portrait is of me!
But unlike those I viewed before,
This painting aches for something more–
A lack of detail and decor
Leaps from the gilded frame;
Even so, it looms commanding,
I am lost, my brain demanding
Some cause for this acclaim.
What IS this artist's name?
I scan the canvas for a clue
To whom my gratitude is due
So I might ask him why he drew
My sketch in such a rush;
In one corner, something odd–
Just above the gilt facade
The artist signed my portrait "GOD"
And left behind His brush.
I cannot help but blush...
Daylight comes, the storm abated,
Adding warmth to art created;
I now see, although belated,
Through eyes which understand;
Now I wander roads uncharted
With the paintbrush He imparted
Adding to the work He started
Just the way He planned...
I trace the Artist's hand.