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Pottery Pottery
by Jan Sand
Issue 12
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To make a pot,

One must coerce,

Have commerce with

The mass of clay

In such a way

To gain concentricity

With the wheel.

This requires

An educated feel

For taming predilections

Of the stuff to wander off

In odd directions.

One wets one’s hands

To lubricate with slip,

Permit the surface liberty

To run through the grip

Which confines central bulk

To rise. In direction

Like a penis in erection.

Then, with the hands

Press down the glans

Into a docile cylinder,

Quiescent in its spin

To invite, at its axis,

The finger in,

Not unlike the exploration,

For a sexual sensation,

Of a woman’s navel.

But this pointed pressure

Makes the magic cavity,

Creates the hollow cylinder,

The embryo of the final pot.

Now, with gentle pressure,

Both within and without,

On the thinning wall,

With a care, devout,

It can rise in vertical ascent

And then, flared out,

Or bent in to a tight lip,

Depending on the grip,

In discrete surges,

The form emerges.

Here is where the enterprise

May fail. As the wall

Starts to rise the clay

Can become too wet, over supple,

Responding too easily

To finger pressure

Or gravity’s insistent call

And bulge, and fall.

But if luck and skill

Can be persuaded to conform

To the potter’s will

And the topology of intention

Balances these to perform

And fulfill the mind’s invention,

The process can produce a bowl,

A vase, a coffee mug,

Or, perhaps, a simple jug.


 
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winsum2006-10-02 10:14:19
that's pretty much the way it is in the beginning . . . .but we get better.


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