Dirty work

For Claudia

The sainted stained with earth,
the poets soaked in ink
and the artists dripping color
who do not paint rainbows

but wear them,
and the potters
with clay under their fingernails;

they all breathe
a working vital as what
was given Adam:
Generativity springs liquid
from their hands
and turns dust to mud
they lift in ungloved fists
fit for that work.

They are all of them digging
and will scatter handprinted patterns
across whitewashed walls
and smooth linen
when they’re done.

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About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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18 Responses to Dirty work

  1. nelle says:

    Link was broken in the http section… corrected and checked your source reference.

    Unintended marks of the striving to express.

  2. Alice Keys says:

    Ah yes. “The sainted sainted with earth”. The saints that roll in mud. My favorites.

  3. j.h. white says:

    I have always worked with my hands and your poem rings as an anthem. The “ungloved fists” is the necessary intimacy…so beautifully spoken. I’ll share this with friends, Susan, the potters, landscapers, lamp makers,painters, weavers who will love it.

  4. unfetteredbs says:

    where would we be without your “dirty works”? — we would be colorless. I really liked this one Susan.REALLy

  5. annotating60 says:

    Very Good Susan.>KB

  6. ManicDdaily says:

    I can see a lot of little (and big) hands all over. I have slightly mixed feelings about that! But very clever, vivid poem. k.

  7. Indeed… Wonder what how the poet blogger gets dirty.. 🙂

  8. Jeremy Nathan Marks says:

    I like the element of “work” and creation your are brining into your poems now.

    If you feel so inclined, I would love to see what you could do with a poem that expresses the actual process of moulding clay. You know, another one of those “embodiment” poems I am always talking about. You could be the hands or the clay or the canvas, the paint, the artist. Either way, if you want to, I’d love to see it. 🙂

    • It’s fantastic that you are saying that, as that is precisely what I am working on with the expansion of “Clay.” I am now toying with the idea of tagging “Kintsugi,” the repair poem, on to the end, as well, if the voices mesh. You have your finger on the pulse of the process I am working through, Jeremy.

      • Jeremy Nathan Marks says:

        I am excited to see what you will achieve. I know you could do some great things. Have you consider watching videos of potters working their wheels? I remember being fascinated by this when I was a child -the way the magically transform the clay as though it were as seemingly pliable as ripples in a pond.

        Oh, if only I knew more about physics!

        • Oh, you have inspired me to watch some of that on you-tube. I used a wheel once, a long time ago. I have often felt drawn to clay as a media, but have no clue how to work it really.

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