Tag Archives sculpture


By Posted on 3 Comments1min read428 views

To shape a life out of marble or granite

requires quarrying and carting, teams

of people and horses, and, out of bronze,

mined metals, a furnace, and a mould

crafted with lapidary precision.

But wood is ubiquitous – before navies

are commissioned, and sheep runs enclosed –

oak forests overlaying hills and valleys.


When folk live close to where they are born,

and history is what you are told by your kin,

and generations are short, and count;

when the priest says, “Jesse begat David the king

and David the king begat Solomon

all the way to Jesus”; when the priest says,

“Isaiah talks of Jesse as a tree”;

when your world is full of people with these names,

the Jordan seems only half a day’s journey

away, just beyond the next range of hills.


Sometimes ideas are like clouds, slow,

lumbering, or slight, whipped by the wind,

or lightning that hits the gut – like the fork

that fells the big oak near the river,

its torn-up roots like a man reclining.

So the wood carver creates, chisels and paints

Jesse and all his progeny, ascending

to the crown of the tree, the Son of God –

generations secure on an old man’s back.





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