The Sculptor and the Boy


“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). In a few moments I will land in Rome and begin fully a pilgrimage which has in so many ways been planned, guided, and illumined by God. While I wrote this poem a while back, it came to mind a few days ago as a representation not only of the historical majesty which awaits me when I step off that plane, but also of the journey upon which I have been lead to arrive even at this point. Without further adieu I present:

The Sculptor and the Boy


In dusty shadows, sharp and soft

Crouches a quite child.

His darting eyes peering, searching

His child’s mind, beguiled.


Before him stands the master at work,

The marble, smooth and fair,

Tools for breaking, then creating,

And against the wall an empty chair.


Days pass as closer he creeps

Watching every blow

The block sheds its perfection

In the dim lit studio.


Down the marble the master works

His grim face in silence set

His strong arms, steadily pounding,

In fading light – a silhouette.


Closer, nearer, the young boy steals,

Enchanted and unaware,

Shifting, gliding, crawling, sliding

Towards the empty chair.


Behind a barrel he swiftly hides,

As marble strikes the wall.

The block towers in the lonely room

And under it the child feels small.


Thundering hammer meets pounding heart

Tapping chisel – tottering feet

The sigh of the master sounds –

The child’s task is now complete.


From the chair in the corner, seated,

He beholds the final blow.

With tears the master drops his hammer

And gazes up from below.


Brawny arms frame an eager face;

No detail did he forget.

Then overwhelmed with exhaustion

In its shadow the master slept.


Silent marble guards weary flesh

As still the boy looks on

Listening to the master’s breathing,

Waiting for the dawn.


When with relief the master rises

So too does the boy, lost in shock.

“Tell me” he pleads “How did you know

There was David in that rock?”


-©Grace Marie Urlakis; August 30, 2017

This entry was posted in Poetry, Roming Catholic Reflections and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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