He carried his easel on his twisted back
And on his belt his other tack,
his canvas torn from the face of morning
and oils he bled from earth and crowns of thorn
He captured hearts and stole souls
Through blind eyes that burned like coals
He worked for pittance along side the Royal, capturing souls in pastels and oil.
He gave his labour for the price of wine
or the cost to cheaply dine
on eel and ale
along the banks of the canal.
He told his subjects lewd jokes
as he gently stroked
the canvas with a lovers grace to evoke there the essence of each face.
And on each canvas when he was done
he signed his name. On all but one,
for he claimed no credit for her
said she was instead Gods work.
And when he finished her portrait
He dashed his easel on the slate.
Broke his brushes across his knee
before stumbling blindly down the quay.
And never painted again they say,
just sat drunk beside the sea
Where he spoke to none of creed or race
of how he painted once an angels face.
When you achieve perfection you have nowhere left to go.
© Dave Kavanagh @ daithiocaomanaigh.com