THE METHUSELAH MASTER, John Ronan

The Methuselah Master
by John Ronan

Workers wouldn’t use Methuselah Master
Addressing the flesh and blood who stained
Old Testament Canterbury glass.
It was Tom, Dick, or Harry, a fellow 
Craftsman standing on tippy scaffolds
Who shared weather and beer and bread,
A casual laugh—certainly jokes
Went ’round in the 12th century,
Though Becket lay below,
Scarcely cold, and the forebear Patriarch
Glared back in toga and sash,
Knees splayed with enough assurance
To bring off the blue shoes.
As surely today, conservators in the clerestory
Who wage war on dust and wind,
Share a knock-knock or gossip -
The Cup and drugs, royalty, relegation...
And guides, who direct the limitless inattention
Of visiting kids to monuments and tombs,
Add anecdotes, nicknames and praise—
Volunteers and a nod from UNESCO extending
The lessons of great age and art,
The Cathedral itself, into millennial Kent.
Several ancestors of Christ, as Jared
And Lamech, Noah, are identified with the Master.
The celebrated series, widely imitated, 
Is sometimes loaned to other institutions
In the business of world heritage—and so shown
To similar effect at the Getty, the Met.
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About barkingsycamores 81 Articles
Barking Sycamores is a literary journal entirely edited and operated by queer neurodivergent people of color. We publish poetry, artwork, short fiction (beginning with Issue 3), creative nonfiction (beginning with Issue 8), and hybrid genre work (beginning with Issue 9) by emerging and established neurodivergent writers as well as essays on neurodiversity and literature and book reviews (beginning with Issue 10).

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