Poem: Glass of Water and Coffee Pot

Glass of Water and a Coffee Pot by Jean-Baptiste Simèon Chardin
after Chardin

These rooms of wood, of tongue-and-groove, open out
on a garden of white-washed walls and a maple tree,
a new Spring bright among the weathered stone and brick.
We find things that are old and used, well-made, well worn
and beautiful because of this. The balance
intimate between that glass of water’s clarity and light
and the pot’s grave darkness: an order so luminous
and fine you needn’t measure it with a rule, just look.
The papery whiteness of the garlic heads is the same light
held in the water glass, the same light lifting a gleam
from the blackened coffee pot that’s somehow managed
to make it through, to find harmony here
on this stone shelf, happiness of the hand and heart,
to keep its heat and still pour clean and true.

~ Robin Robertson

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