Clay (final)

for T

 

If  I could, I would make this
A measurable thing;
I would breathe into it
My spirit, animate this vessel
While it is unwedged potential
Balanced in my palms,
Before that slap and press
So similar to a baker
Kneading dough,

But it is not bread
I would make for you.
I know, thrown and centered
My substance would compose itself
In a directed dance; the way my flesh rises
Under the lathe of your hands
In waves crested to fantastic forms
By your fingers,

This us; weighed, wheeled
And shaped, tear-glazed,
Will resist heat after the first firing,

Even when this clay breaks.
What it holds, what I hold
Cannot be contained forever
In jars or hands,
Covered and unvoiced–

But try this vessel.
You will find a love, though
Cracked on the surface
From past firing,
Unbroken in it’s essence;
A strength owned by stones,
Shown in their simple
Holding together.

Strength is not always motion,
Though for you I would lift up worlds.

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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 Clay (final)

  1. janehewey says:

    A strength owned by stones, most wonderful. : )

  2. ruleofstupid says:

    This is a very beautiful thing Susan 🙂

  3. Victor says:

    Susan thank you for merging takes1&2.You took the best in each and the result is a super classic.

    • Thanks, Victor. I need to thank you for nudging me in this direction… You and my friend KB. Without your suggestions, I would have been happy with the “good enough” version of this one, and this fuller version would not exist.

  4. Grace says:

    This is lovely Susan, specially the last couplet ~

  5. Dana says:

    Lovely verse Susan.

  6. jmgoyder says:

    Your final lines always give me a bit of a gasp.

  7. Susan, you have a way with words.
    Poor freudians like me “blush” furiously at unintended meanings and sublimal decodings – and in vain I try to restrain this roving mind rearing to go and decode in the direction that your words/images so possibly suggest and invite! For what other destinations could there be to these but that forever and every where space where body, soul and spirit meet, mate and fuse –

    My substance would compose itself
    In a directed dance; the way my flesh rises
    Under the lathe of your hands
    In waves crested to fantastic forms
    By your fingers,

    This us; weighed, wheeled
    And shaped, tear-glazed,
    Will resist heat after the first firing,

    Wow, – waves, crested, flesh rises, first firing,

    but then perhaps I read too many meanings beyond the written words, and this poem is about two potters at the wheel – the two of them potters, clay, kiln and all, all at once, at twice and at thrice, but this is lent, and I am but a struggling aging catholic male and a second language speaker of english!

    Great poem, Susan.You sing song well, you paint with such fine fingers and soft strokes.

    • Aw, Noel, thank you–you have made me blush again. And, um, yes–meant every suggestive ripple in those images. I will try to write about daisies only, to spare you having to confess reading my poetry during lent 😉

  8. nelle says:

    Love the explorations and the sentiment expressed.

  9. Jeremy Nathan Marks says:

    This stanza jumped out at me because I saw, through your words, the hardness of the clay begin to be worked on the wheel. There was motion and body here and I think it is terrific:

    But it is not bread
    I would make for you.
    I know, thrown and centered
    My substance would compose itself
    In a directed dance; the way my flesh rises
    Under the lathe of your hands
    In waves crested to fantastic forms
    By your fingers,

    • Thanks, Jeremy. That is my favorite stanza in the whole piece. Unfortunately, the guy I wrote it for told me he liked the first version the best. Bah! Humbug!

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