My Canvas

spacerIn what hour did God create the world?
That hills and streams and forests
could flow from one to another –
with such ease upon an artists brush?

That such a wistful stroke would cause
the beauty of all the world to fall –
within a robin’s egg?  Or in the creaking
bend of majestic pine?

Such is the whispering breath of angel’s wings….

And that I should rise amidst their flutter
in the shadows of this great canvas –
comprised of all the oils on His pallette…
What beauty brings I, says I.

That even the tiniest ripple in the tiniest pond
could humble my presence –
Or that the solemn single ray of Sun
breaking through an ominous cloud might
so easily soar above my nothingness……

What beauty brings I, says I.
Is it simply that I say?
There is no greater glory than the human heart,
its blank canvas left to our own brush….
And what shall I paint this hour?


You speak no Latin more than I, belike;However, you’re my man, you’ve seen the world

— The beauty, and the wonder and the power,

The shapes of things, their colors, lights and shades,

Changes, surprises — and God made it all!

-Robert Browning



About johnallenrichter

I am an aspiring Poet and adorer of life, a conqueror of nothing. However I am a champion curator of truth and friendship and hold both of those things most dearly to my heart. Welcome to my mind's eye. I hope you will enjoy what you may find and please know that you have a friend here. View all posts by johnallenrichter

16 responses to “My Canvas

  • kaykuala

    That even the tiniest ripple in the tiniest pond
    could humble my presence –
    Or that the solemn single ray of Sun
    breaking through an ominous cloud might
    so easily soar above my nothingness……

    Just shows how Providence has given the goodness of life to us humans. And we humans may not really know how lucky we are! Nice thoughts John!


  • wolfsrosebud

    I think God smiles at an empty canvas… really enjoyed the opening lines

  • M. J. Joachim

    Beauty is a gift from the soul, revealed through the eyes and shared in your poetry.

  • claudia

    i like the idea of the heart as a canvas…i think there are spots and bruises it gets that we can’t influence, but we can influence how we deal with them and how we integrate them into our painting so that it makes sense

  • zongrik

    it’s quite amazing that evolution could bring forth the life we see today

    nano birthing chamber

  • brian miller

    the blank canvas left to our own brush…love that line john….and i like the wonder of this…that god made all…and even you, special then and how then do you respond to the world around you….

  • Apryl Gonzales Sweet (@SweetApryl)

    The blank canvas and the creative acts of a divine artisan… just beautiful!

  • Pat Hatt

    We can sure paint away
    Each at our bay
    And if lucky fine another to help along
    Creating ones own song
    And filling the page
    Hopefully looking better than the paper used on the bottom of a bird cage haha

  • Talon

    This made me long for a creative surge so I might pull out my brushes, grab a canvas and lose myself in…creating. This was beautiful.

  • Grace

    This is beautifully written, my heart lifted with each verse ~ We are given a blank canvas to fill and paint everyday ~ Yes, everything that the Lord has made is beautiful ~

  • kelly

    The glory is in the noticing of those tiny wonders…. Appreciating them as the beauty they are. Each day, we live our own painting. Lovely!

  • Kelvin S.M.

    …paint love…and nothing but love… smiles… your poem has generous quality of beauty in it… thanks for sharing… smiles…

  • Todd Alan Kraft

    John, I like this one a lot, I think it is a little more developed than last week… I’ve always pictured the world as painted in watercolors, deposited on the page from light to dark, rather than oils, which go dark to light. Ending with “[a]nd what shall I paint this hour?” really grabbed me, and kicked the composition thru the uprights. I think if you attempt a rewrite, why not lace the poem with colors of the palette: aquamarine, burnt sienna, cobalt blue, forest green… no complaints, just suggestions… Bravo.

    • johnallenrichter

      I appreciate the critique Todd. That’s why I come to this wonderful outlet dverse, to become a better poet. I appreciate your candid honesty and taste, too. So many of us fall just short of being constructive, I think out of fear of harming the artist’s ego. Let’s face it. We artists are wired differently! In my work I always suppose to bring love, beauty, and emotional insight into art that can not be touched, smelled, or tasted….. This is the world most artists live in, I think. Unfortunately you have chosen to critique probably the only thing in my entire repoirtoire that I choose not to subjugate: The ability of the reader to bring to my poem his own pallette, and his own colors…. his memories, his sight of beauty is what will flavor this poem for him. Not mine. He has not had my experiences. He has not seen my colors. He only knows his own

      I have held this belief most of my life and will always believe it: The viewer defines the art with his own emotion, his own colors, his own memories of love and beauty, not the poet’s colors, love or beauty. Have you ever read an intensely interesting novel only to find the later movie to be dissapointing? Or vice-versa? When you read a novel and infuse within it your own experiences, memories, love and beauty, then it becomes completely yours. It is precisely unique to you and can not be replicated by anyone else, no mattter how remarkable a director or producer might be.

      But it sounds like you did add your own colors to my piece…… That was intended Todd….. Thank you.

  • Jeff

    He has given you the colors . . . you have brushed them in eloquent strokes.

  • Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade)

    A lovely poem, and I couldn’t agree more with the sentiments.

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