Saturday, June 18, 2016

Coloring Outside the Lines

I heard a story yesterday from a young man whose chorus teacher who told it in class one day. The teacher was this child.

During a kindergarten art session with crayons and a coloring book page and instructions from the teacher to carefully stay within the outline, a child decided with purpose to color beyond the outline. He figured that if he cut it out afterward along the outline he would have a piece filled in perfectly. 

His teacher came by, looked down and saw what looked like a rebellious and deliberate mess. This child deliberately had flouted his instructions. The teacher held it up for the class to see and told the other students that Johnny was disobedient and had colored badly. Don't color your page this way, he said. The entire class laughed nervously. 

Johnny kept silent, but knew in his heart that the teacher couldn't imagine what he knew the finished product could be. He knew he was right. He cut out his picture - pleased by how it turned out. 

I wish every child had the strength to withstand such onslaughts. Most people are crippled for life from these experiences. How many artists could there be in the world with this kind of knowing? 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Wheel and I

Inexperience begged for
a wheel with years
of practice and mastery

I perch awkwardly
on the bench, settle in -
and breathe in the fact

that a lifetime's longing
is coming to pass
here and now

Looking out the window
hosting red geraniums I see
a deer framed

Elton John sings in the background -
he's the only one to witness
my tears as

I take clay in my hands
and throw it into what I hope
is the center of the wheel

Wet eager hands cover clay
One foot kicks hard to make
the wheel spin silently

Hovering, I press and pull
the lump toward my belly
where butterflies flutter

This moment bends me
into a prayer - one I've
been waiting for so long

Village Potter

George Lowe serving as Village Potter - Holden Village - 2016 

Poet of Pottery

His hands
shape clay into
mugs, teapots, planters,
and bowls

For three months I've
watched his hands mold

ancient earthen magic
without effort it seems

lumps of clay
centered on the wheel
wait to connect with
his heart and hands

intimate knowledge
blends with
intimate touch

transformation begins
with strength and
finishes with a caress

George Lowe - Village Potter - Holden Village - June 2016 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

How Seers Do Durable

They carry heavy packs -
without much to sustain them

It's all uphill

water crossings
and murmering rumbles
make it slippery
to balance in a place where
fire charred what once was
and mine remediation violates
these mountains once again

The  work is crippling -
consider the three pronged
politics that push back against
every new, good thing

Exhaustion must set in
like a bloody cowl one wants
to shake loose.

Still, I witnessed
them stop and ponder a flock of butterflies
sipping moisture from the mud
in the middle of Main Street.
He stooped down
urging one winged beauty
gently onto his forefinger.
It lingered - savoring the salt -
the salt of sweat and tears?

In one moment, I caught
a glimpse of the enchanted
children they must have been.

I hope they keep seeing like this...
because only beauty will
save this place -
this place waiting
under heaven to be born
again, again

They keep sheep dogging the
remaindered flock to
move forward  - steadfast
in doing what they do

For such a time as this...
they came
they stay
they look ahead
for what will be a
durable, enduring

Hart Lake

Wild flowers crowd the trail with color bursts
berry bushes begin to bear juicy weight
water falls over granite high above
rocks crunch

we hang our hammock
underneath the tinkling leaves
of two aspens and swing in
the shade love provides
while deer graze
close enough
to see long lashes. Curious,
they look
deep into our eyes.