Friday, March 22, 2024

I found a carving in the wood

I found a carving in the wood,
   a pedestal where something stood. 
A statue must have been right here,
   its placement had been very clear.
But now this pedestal was bare
   and statue which was carved with care
was now cast off and on the ground
   under leaves and grass around
its form so it was barely seen. 
   I stooped down now and tried to clean
debris away so I could see
   what had been and what will be.

Dead leaves, wild grass, pulled and plucked
   brushed away so I now looked
at stone now in the light of sun,
   its lines and grooves forming some
image now in my mind
   of fingers that were intertwined. 
I brushed off more and saw an arm,
   its wrist embraced with carven charm.

The form now clear a woman lay
   framed by grass and roots that stay
clinging to her female form
   in ways that seemed now to adorn,
like woven garments, nature made
   now for my eyes in woods displayed.
but something did but seem awry
   twists and contorts caught my eye
should a real arm lay this way
   what did this artist seek to say? 

Those fingers still were intertwined
   I cleared some more so I could find
what lay beneath nature's shield
   in hidden wood, in long-lost field. 

I grabbed a mass of root and vine
   and once pulled back I saw the grime
from mud and muck and trails of worms
   which slid across these carven forms. 

What I now saw seemed grotesque
   as if the artist did detest 
these models from which he must have carved
   these two hideous and starved
creatures which now before me lie
   did the artist even try? 
Or was this the point for which he sought
   to twist and deform as he wrought
and carved and chipped away at stone
   to make an image that was one
in which I stood in horror now
   beholding scene of painful bow
beneath a weight of unseen trial
   that crushed these two beyond denial. 

The dirt and grime I brushed aside
   worms and mud, old roots I plied 
away from stone so more I'd see
   of what this spectacle could be. 

As I cleared nature away
  revealed now stone to sun's bright ray
and plucked away those final twigs
   I pondered now something big.
Could I now with all my might
   set these two back up aright? 
and place them on their pedestal
   restored, returned before their fall? 

I plotted and I then heaved to
   with levered strength in what lead to
a twist a turn and then a grunt, 
   drops of sweat, give up I won't. 

And one last surge of strength divine
   these two were back, but now I find
one more thing that I must do
   to finish task and make things new. 

I turned now to a fountain near
  water trickling down so clear
from ancient stone which had been struck
   to sustain life while on a trek
to promised land so long ago. 
   A rag I dipped beneath the flow
and dripping with the water clear
   I turned and cleaned off the first ear
then a chin and down that arm
   around the fingers and the charm. 
Across a back and down to feet
   between each toe my rag did meet
every crease and crack and nook
   I stood back now to take a look
and what now did my eyes behold
   a different story than I'd told. 

What seemed to me as pain before
   now looked like love that each had for
the other one it now was plain
   that though some trauma did remain
these two weren't wretched as it seemed
   but now revealed as I'd cleaned
my view had changed from before
   and now I saw what it was for.

The pedestal in ancient wood
  was granite hand on which they stood,
when cast off from its firm embrace,
   it looked like pain upon each face,
but now returned within that grip
   each now appeared with word on lip
that seemed to say by artist's skill
   "I love you now, I always will, 
because he loved us from the start,
   and in his grip, we'll never part."

In awe I stood at artist's hand
  that could with skill and careful plan,
create a scene that untrained eye
   would perceive dread and want to die, 
but with an eye trained by His book,
   a better eye could take a look
and see the beauty held within,
   though a tragedy had been
and the art did not ignore 
   these tragic things these faces wore
the end result was very clear
   these two knew Jesus and held him dear.