Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Feel Earth

What it Means to Throw Clay and feel Earth Come Alive

There is life in this clay as I wedge before day, when morning is just but a gleam

Its life’s hard to feel, when it’s not on a wheel, but my fingers are gentle and clean

So any heartbeat, that lies in the deep, is like waves that crash on the shore

And as I, wedge my clay, in the dawn before day, I will help this life to grow more

Slump in my chair, and brush back my hair, before lifting the first ball to me

A five-pound no more, but size is no chore, for a master with hands that can see

And its smack on the bat is loud as a crack, hunch over the faint little heart

With a sponge in my grip the water turns to slip, a push of the wheel now I start

At once it’s alive, it beating will thrive, I can feel my own heart speed the wheel

Off-center a bit, but its life has been lit, it’s alive and it moves with my feel

So I dive with the earth, and help to give birth, to a pot which this clay will now form

Be proud where you end, I tell my dear friend, but it trembles and shakes with reform

The clay moves not you, my words whisper true, as the form writhes in my grip

I cast up and down, the slip forms a crown, on its head which comes off in a strip

As my hands move in, its beating grows din, to center this clay is the devil

But I remember my phrase, and my hand does not raise, ‘til it’s round and perfectly level

My hands go to center, my fingertips enter, and I open the clay to a torus

I can tell that it’s scared with its insides so flared, my fingers move together in chorus

Sing now my dear! I implore you drop fear, my hands guide your way as you rise

Your form grows with majesty as you spin in front of me, you breathe ‘neath my hands with your cries

But suddenly I stop as you reach your full top, and I place my hands on your base

I listen and feel with the spins of the wheel, but I realize some thing’s out of place

For deep in your wall an air pocket’s small, a death wish for pots of all size

You don’t feel it that much, but it hurts when I touch, I fear this will be your demise

And it pains me so, when the wheel does slow, and gaze at your fabulous lines

You were princely, a king, your figure could sing, yet none of your grace undermines

The dawn crept near when I shed a tear, and pulled out a long coiled thread

Around fingers of life, I wrapped thread like a knife, and cut you from the bat so you’re dead

Severed and broken, your body a token, of clay that could breathe and laugh

And I look at the thread which claimed you instead, and sighing I cut you in half

There in your wall, I see a bubble, that’s all, what brought you down from your top

Cannot be, it’s not fair, I feel the despair, as I throw your two halves in the slop

But dawn has a way, of clearing dismay, and as the sun rose so did I

I felt through my feet, a breathing in beat, coming from the earth and the sky

It breathed both in time, to clay’s heart and mine, and I saw myself split like the pot

But my breathing lived on, though my body was gone, for the heart and the soul don’t get caught

The sunlight now broke from cracking night’s cloak, like gold ships from the sea I saw light

The majesty I saw put in contrast the flaw, in the pot thrown at dawn after night

Yes the form it was great, but that did not make, the clay who it was ‘neath my hands

It was beating and breath, not cause of death, which defined my dear friend in my plans

So again let us throw! I shout all aglow, We will make such a form never seen!

Clay on the bat, loud as a crack, I drip you in water ‘till you gleam

And this time I touch, not one beat as such, but the breath of the earth and the sky

I pull and there’s life, give beauty with knife, I’m a potter, with clay I can fly

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