Homer Christensen

God as an Old Man, Painting

Only a painterly God could have created a morning like this:
soft, cool blue water filigreed with strands of white
and broad flanks flecked with purple.
Mountains—hazy olive in the distance
close-by mottled lime and viridian
spots of yellow, ochre, a dab of umber.

He covers the sky with a wash,
blocks in shapes, refines his drawing
checks perspective, and then steps back,
squints. He takes a break.

He breaks more often now.
This God is older, though people
still talk of His youthful exploits.
Like a stern parent tempered with experience,
He has mellowed, wants to relax. He wants to paint.

Of the creation, He most loved painting the coats of the animals.
He recalls the joy of painting the jaguar, some dogs, too many birds.

Man, He only began before He grew too busy.
Precocious children, some ran off unfinished.

The eskimo and aborigine
He took on as His first students.
Ah, but then work intervened.
Now, retired, no students can be found.
And so, twice a day, He paints. He paints.
And as He paints, He hums.