Vesselware

vesselware

Women climb the mesa

searching for their source of clay. On their wrists

pails flash metallic fire while secrets

of the old craft inhabit their minds, Up here

the earth is blessed

meant to be scooped and sculpted

into works of functional grace, inspired

by wild things that become wild stories.

 

And the women know this approaching

the steep hill; the day handed down

in sudden discoveries as they watch

a butterfly fan the dust with its wings,

a ritual to revive the forgotten

and initiate change.

 

And further down in the rock cleft,

a rattler coils herself in the shades of sunrise.

Some believe she is the goddess

of beginnings who sheds her skin at dusk

and grows another at dawn

 

And the women know this

as they slowly rub the moist dirt

between their fingers contemplating

how they can paint a pattern of scales

on their bowls and flasks

 

The morning heat intensifies

as they feel a slender darkness crawl

slowly over them. The shadow of a wild cat.

The younger ones fear its presence

but the elders say its simply there

to remind them of the huntress

and what needs to be hunted . Always

the quiet, the peaceful, the will of ancestors

wanting to be articulated smoothly in art .

 

And the mothers honor this

warning their daughters what they must fear

is in the molding. Any thumb print or ridge

could ruin the process of recording

their tribal song, their animal souls.

9 comments

  1. Wendy,

    I am captured by this feral experience.
    It claims this reader with its beauty and
    its wildness. It is a beautiful celebration
    of the lifting of my ‘screen ban’. The doctor
    says the brain is healed. What an extraordinary
    vision this first poem on my return!
    Thank you!

    Sarah

    Like

    • Dear Sarah

      So, so glad to heal you are better. That is the best news of ALL! And am thrilled you enjoyed this poem. It was inspired by watching a PBS documentary on the traditions and pottery of the Inuit tribes. Their connection to nature and the spiritual harmony they strive to achieve in this bond are remarkable and imaginative.

      Again, many thank yous
      and so glad you are healed!

      God Bless You!
      ((Hugs))
      wendy

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wendy, I like the feel of this. What was, what is, and what will be; a continuous progression recorded in clay.

    And Sarah: if you see this, I am also happy at your good news!

    Like

    • Hi Michael

      So glad you liked this one. Art has a way of mirroring one’s legacy, talent and ancestry. Really appreciate your thoughtful comment.

      My best
      Wendy

      Like

  3. Hi Michael

    So glad you liked this one. Art has a way of mirroring one’s legacy, talent and ancestry. Really appreciate your thoughtful comment.

    My best
    Wendy

    Like

  4. Wendy,

    Your well-crafted work is often trademarked as exquisite–with this being no exception.

    “Always

    the quiet, the peaceful, the will of ancestors

    wanting to be articulated smoothly in art..”

    This part speaks in spiritual whispers.

    Enjoyed your fine poem on this rainy Friday night.

    Jan

    Like

  5. From the butterfly ritual
    to revive the forgotten
    and initiate change,
    the snake coiled in shades of sunrise,
    to the crawling shadow of a wild cat,
    you convey the respect and spiritual qualities
    of the natural world
    that these women understand and carry within.

    The warning to their daughters
    about the molding of the piece,
    and the avoidance of leaving the human thumb print on it,
    brought to mind the way humans
    can cause destruction if not careful,
    can leave our human thumbprint, as it were,
    and shake up nature’s wonderful balance and harmony.

    Much enjoyed reading.

    take care,
    Kerri

    Like

  6. Hi Kerri

    So good to hear from you!! Love, love your interpretation of this poem and thank you so much for your thoughtful summary of its theme and meaning. I agree, so often when we leave our human thumbprint on natural things, we ruin the balance and the process of them. An important lesson for us to remember when it comes to interacting with the environment. Again many thanks!

    Take care
    all my best always,
    Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

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