CanvasJune 1965

The brush can only try
to light a canvass with a candle flicker
the hammer and the chisel
are dumb dividers of a hot-faced whisper
the wind of flame
can never even gasp a dying semblance
of an ember in the stolen wood
of sapless lead.

When growling men
try tongueless to exude a crucial
river of expression
when howling mummers
try their roles on neurotic
first nights of the soul
the theologian will descend
to bless their efforts but only in his cloud
confess emotion.

For he and they
have dignity enough to leave
the hammering of blushes into blue
to mad exiles who wander
with unlit candles for torches
in search of tools
which trade with colours
in a lover’s pool of whirling oils.