Chalk and charcoal net these images,
Hard edged or smeared with fingers:
A bottle wrapped by lines laid
Line over line to restrain
My interpretation of the real.
Yours is 'truth to materials.'
You pick up steel and see steel,
Not the stain of a black forest
In a sheet of tarnished aluminium.
Yours is 'truth to morals.'
You handle wood and see wood,
Not the pain of a breach–birth
In the handle of a hammer.
Yours is 'truth to money.'
You model clay and see clay,
Not murder's grey estuary
Or worms going down for air.
There is no denotative tool or bag of tricks
For reality has no measure but the quick
Of gestures marked upon a pane of light.
I scratch and scrape at the sun to escape
But in line upon line I am caged.