I liked him as he did not look for an ideal object.
When he heard: "Only the object which does not exist
Is perfect and pure," he blushed and turned away.
In every pocket he carried pencils, pads of paper
Together with crumbs of bread, the accidents of life.
Year after year he circled a thick tree
Shading his eyes with his hand and muttering in amazement.
How much he envied those who draw a tree with one line!
But metaphor seemed to him something indecent.
He would leave symbols to the proud busy with their cause.
By looking he wanted to draw the name from the very thing.
When he was old, he tugged at his tobacco-stained beard:
"I prefer to lose thus than to win as they do."
Like Peter Breughel the father he fell suddenly
While attempting to look back between his spread-apart legs.
And still the tree stood there, unattainable.
Veritable, true to the very core.
Substitute canal for tree. I like "accidents of life" and love the line "By looking he wanted to draw the name from the very thing."