The Making of Porcelain
Vona GRoarke

The Making of Porcelain

Vona Groarke
It will need to be a thousand years old
and warmed by the rising sun, this clay,
chilled by only full moons. I will need
river water never broken over a wet stone
and hands that fit inside my skin,
my eyes to be glazed with robin’s egg glaze
and the blood in my veins to be ox-blood
for the hour of my doing.
The bowl I make I will hold in my mouth
until a name for it balances on the lip
and then I will place it in the nape of my life
so it knows more than I do.
This will be what I make of my time,
a bowl I gift to you.Look underneath,
where the war came close is a smidge
the shape of the scar on my knee
which is also the curve of the bend in the road
that leads to the rim of the sea.
You could fill this bowl to the brim with ice
or sunlight. You could put every promise you made
in there and squares of paper on which you have written
lines from love poems and names of stars
and boardwalks and childhoods and mothers in coats.
You could put in driftwood and your lapis ring,
last night’s dreams and tonight’s, undreamt,
it doesn’t matter, for whatever you place inside
this bowl will not be there when you look again.
This is the beauty of the finishing touch
applied with a brush made from your lost years:
come morning, each morning,
when you rise to the day
and think to see what remains to be seen,
the moonlight glaze I chose for you
undoes everything.
Image © The Victoria and Albert Museum


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