• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 07

Life’s Brief Tenancy

These child-men always touch me most,
My heart lays open, cut deep with pain,
In my life, countless numbers I have painted,
Rendered the likeness of men and women,
But children, these child-men, their sister kin
Always, they break my heart,

I shape and smooth sweet linden,
In which love and wisdom reside,
Grind pigments from stone to powder
Heat hard wax fluid, mixing fast, painting swiftly
Firmly, taking care to burn, this child-man,
Into a form that best represents his brief life,

Lived in dedication of Isis, honouring her son,
Newly come to manhood, a fine wound clavus
Lifts him, as the pallium stoops, his left side down
Weighted, the responsibilities of his life now temple bound,
A face in repose, large eyes wide open, drink in the world,
As I craft my art, in close watch, these things I see,

His lips upturn, as he gently smiles at death,
A love of life I best express, by glinting playfully his eyes
Engaging, he looked forward, planned ahead,
Saw not, yet accepted, welcomed in, that coming of his end,
And so to honour him, I fill his face full bright with life,
Filled by love, by joy, smiling peacefully at life yet to live,

Contemplate his sarcophagus, a memento mori,
Speaks to the future, a reminder: let not one day drift by.