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TEMPUS OMNIA REVELAT
How a man looks need not draw attention.
He stands out of the light or dissolves in the crowd the street
can equally well draw attention.
That’s not the issue here. We are ready
for eternity, that is the soul
he captures on a fine canvas, well-framed
although his reputation seems like shifty cattle.
He works from the true, says
that there stirs in the gaze the fine details, that which
you cannot see, almost the light the hand of God.
That much we know. Faults in the weave, small shifts of colour.
Never a church or board that had a problem
with a natural defect.
So do we work to that same law.
A gentle smile, firm features
must shore up our successors, be a light
above the heavy table where they easily fall ill
and exchange figures for gout and Holland gin.
Knowledge of worth is our salvation.
Our duty to remain a warning and a lesson.
Tell that to the painter!