The potter climbs the stairs to his attic workshop,
leaving the drag of his wife’s glare;
the cheap disinfectant
and the dream vacuumed air.
From the beams of the ceiling hangs one naked bulb,
his eyes begin shining with the familiar old light,
the idea of the pot he is throwing tonight.
He kicks the wheel, leans above the turntable,
dipping small, powerful hands in the lukewarm water;
Remembering the art learned at his Indian teacher’s feet,
and how Pritip claimed that turning a dampened clay ball
was harder than printing his shadow on the wall.
Simply mind over matter,
the disciple has learned;
No forgiving a mistake,
no words to erase,
no changing the paint…
The potter must have perfection;
the slightest crack or flaw
and the dream holds the dreamer in the gripping Sphinx claw.
He can feel it tonight, his fingers are singing;
It is his night to tame the clay,
control its pulse, channel the power,
the vision germinating has come to full flower.
Under his hands, the form in his head
is the pot he will birth like a woman with child;
He is sweating profusely, and yet doesn’t dare
make a move that will crush the creation he must bear.
The Potter loses track of the hours that go by,
the slam of a door, a child’s distant cry.
At last! Behold! The perfection he envisioned!
Sweet taste of success; he gazes with pride;
The jewel of his shop; it can’t be denied.
Yet, for the briefest of moments, and then the thought is locked away—
If his life could be controlled
as he controls the clay.
More works by Willow