John Garth Raubenheimer

(21/12/1947 / Johannesburg)

A Lesson From The Master

'So you're from South Africa - '

Wolves discipled into lambs,
the carver's hands
- fingernails clipped short and square as chisels -
browse, off duty. Froth settles in his beer.
Relaxed in his well-travelled armchair,
he reminds you of your first school headmaster.
Eyes humerous, humoured, clear sky-bright.
'Then you must know a thing or two.'

He winks.
'Now then.'
He blows a strong puff, clearing the dust from a treasure.
'Nice grapes hmm?
But see the grain. Or if you like, don't see,
like the student who carved - or plucked -
this bunch. I'm not saying who he was.'
The fingers scan. His eyes horizon forty years.

'You need to start with the grain, because
the grain is the life of the wood.'
You nod to show you've understood.
'These grapes have everything...
but they don't have life. '

He puts down the piece,
picks up another. His eyes glow softly.
'When we follow the grain - '

Stroking a pensive woman's face.
Glory of curls around knots in the wood.
'We free a mystery.

Our Jean carved this before she died.
She'd lost all her hair.
So, did life know what was wanted here? '

Submitted: Thursday, July 19, 2007
Edited: Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Poet's Notes about The Poem

In memory of Donald Wilcox.

Comments about this poem (A Lesson From The Master by John Garth Raubenheimer )

Enter the verification code :

Read all 2 comments »

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley Updates

New Poems

  1. Hold color, hasmukh amathalal
  2. NATURE'S FRAGRANCE, Romeo Della Valle
  3. Evolution, Is It Poetry
  4. गोरबो इसिँनिफ्राइ -36, Ronjoy Brahma
  5. Tomorrow, Tony Adah
  6. Confession, Jayatissa Liyanage
  7. Rain and Water II, Ismim Putera
  8. Drained Of Everything, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  9. Dawn, Winston Edgar Hall
  10. The Heart's Journey, Connie Marcum Wong

Poem of the Day

poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Young Love lies sleeping
In May-time of the year,
Among the lilies,
Lapped in the tender light:
White lambs come grazing,
White doves come building there:
...... Read complete »


Member Poem

[Hata Bildir]