That was the study the painter made
in a time of virgins and saints.
He painted earth instead,
filamenting grass stems with brushes,
studying seeds. No altars, pillars or kings;
just a patch of garden, clay slipping off
a spade. If God was a blueprint folded up
by patrons, a sketch for practising backgrounds
to crucifixions, his patch of earth
would be untrampled grass.