The day wind felled a weary oak,
we donned work aprons, boots,
took pails and spades in hand
and ventured out into the brumy cold
to scoop red clay, harvesting Earth.
That night we sat around a fire.
Flickering flames of warmth dispelled
the cold that seeped through dense
gray stone—walls caching sacred
secrets of a century and more.
We worked the clay that night, extracting
grit and stones, Gaia’s grainy
cells that would, ignored, destroy
our own creative efforts. Each night
thereafter, tediously, we toiled for perfection.
And when the day arrived to mold
and fashion terra-cotta worlds,
figures formed of toil and imagination,
clods of mud clung to our hands
that we discarded as extraneous.
Yet now and then we’d find a pebble.
Another proof that life eludes
the quest for flawless execution.
I apologise for re-posting an older poem. Time has not been generous with me lately! I’m linking this to the theme of sculpture at dVerse Poetics which I’ve had the honor of hosting. Hope to see you there.
Process Note: this took place in Brittany, France in the early 70’s when I was living in a “mostly-monastic” setting.
Photo: License Creative Commons, Non-Commercial Share-Alike