The book I’m currently writing is called Earthen Trinkets. In it the main character is an artist of pottery. It reminded me of a poem I wrote many, many years ago. I’d titled my poem “Earth Artist” –
Earth is awhirl within the sprawling heavens.
It is designed as our natural inheritance –
of that I’m certain.
A potter’s hand sculpts earth.
Those hands reshape clay,
and interprets precious clumps of soil.
Those hands cut clay blocks with wire strings.
There is the lift and plunge of a fist into a rotating block.
Guesswork begins, and it turns into the calculating touch of skill.
Earth’s direction began unpredictably
as it unleashed across this universe.
In throwing clay, with each whirl of the wheel,
creation is forged.
Spinning discs promise the imagination a free ride.
Circular, orbital, as with the galaxies, the wheel rotates.
Clumps of gray, tan, red – and in between colors of wonder
stitch expression into reality.
The cool, damp clay is adroitly formed
with wet hands that allow the wheel to dictate its pull.
Edging clay upward is a communication
between the imagination and the touch.
A container is born, a sculpture is invented.
Clay lifts, edging as a sediment-sweetened sponge drips.
Stoneware is formed.
The land’s face connects, for it is tilled.
Potters caress molds.
Framing the terrain’s bounty into contours
of beauty produces life’s bounty.
Fine ceramics are engineered
as they are cradled by knowing touches.
Lessons of clay reflect chance,
just as our globe’s destiny presents itself.
The crust fades, when fragile material is overly stressed.
The clay is placed aside and restored by time.
Time settles both terracotta and territory.
Time strengthens both and gives each endurance.
With insured plasticity – art is constructed,
and becomes pliable, and then resilient.
It is sturdier than raw clay.
Learning patience with each effort,
the potter comes to know life’s wait.
Drying time, produces its own lesson.
As the vessels, and creations await firing,
the artist accepts the timing of existence.
Drying time is where ‘preludes’ seem most at home.
When the leather-hardened art is fired,
fortune takes command.
Cone-monitored temperatures assist in predicting creation.
Speculation is only a dream that presents a lesson.
For preparation corrects mistakes; prevents mistakes.
The beauty of earth takes on another form of loveliness.
From the kiln comes bisque.
After it is dipped into vats of glaze,
brushed with oxide, and twirled,
it becomes an artist’s vortex.
Chemistry has mingled the best rainbow designs
from inside a potter’s mind.
Sunrise colors and twilight hues
blend into nature’s visionary promise.
Although there is an awareness buried somewhere within,
there seems to be no way to encroach upon reality.
There is only imitating nature.
Nothing is overlooked, and nothing is ignored.
Inspiration finds its reverence
and appreciation of life’s components.
Expressing, translating, and conducting impulses,
energy flows from hands to the touch of earth.
Connecting, yielding, and sheltering,
is part of the process.
There is the beguiling swirl of invention and vision
when indentations are created from a serrated tool.
The corner of the artist’s heart must be shown.
From the glow of a prism, to the texture of life,
it becomes a replicated knowing of the universe.
Earth is often scarred, punctured, and battered.
Yet with peace, patience, and acceptance,
there is love’s reprisal.
It is captured within a magnificent reward called art.
Earth’s alloys and bonding agents are nearly as complicated
as each of life’s earthlings.
In each unfurling of creativity
wisdom is created as if by a miracle.
An earth artist’s task is to sculpt
an offering of pleasure.
And most importantly,
a texture of love.
COPYRIGHT: Kieran York
Fiction by Kieran York: Careful Flower, her latest release, is available in book form through www.bluefeatherbooks.com. Or order through Bella Book Distribution for books or e-books. Books and Kindle e-books are also available through Amazon. Appointment with a Smile, a 2013 Lambda Literary Award Finalist, is also available through Blue Feather Books, Bella Books and Amazon.
If you’re interested in poetry, check out her poetry in the best-selling Sappho’s Corner Poetry Series: Wet Violets, Volume 2; and Roses Read, Volume 3. These collections are edited by Beth Mitchum. They are available through http://ultravioletlove.com and Amazon.