In the Workshop of Joseph – a sequence

In the Workshop of Joseph

Nativity

I always imagined it to have more colour,
Perhaps beaten gold,
And a slightly rougher texture
As if the yolk and pigment were trying
To break into a leap,
Into a vigour.

There should be no angels,
They are not fitting in such a scene. The chalice
Slipping from the stalls
Should have been filled with red wine,
Not white,
This is no place for virgins.

© Martin Porter 2001

Pieta

No place for virgins. Even as I look
This birth is decaying,
The yolk has developed mould,
The canvas turned to marble,
Cream, creamier in veins
Bleeding.

The artists preparation

After the last stroke is applied
The brush is dipped in spirit
Or dipped into water, bound in rag.
Hammers are dusted, chisels laid down in order.

The carpenter oils the whet,
Repairs the ragged edges where the steel
Has caught a shake. The lathe has stopped,
The belt is loosened,
The spinning never ends.

© Martin Porter 2003

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