From the heart and to the heart, Sheherezade Alam
The arc of her foot propels
the wheel, a planet rotating in orbit,
as the crescents of her hands draw
up the clay, which just anointed with water,
yields to the surge of her thumb,
waxes and wanes under the force
of her fingers, ebbs, flows—
Conceives fables, like her namesake,
she reaches back in time
through fluid clay, shapes voluminous
vessels, wombs embedded
within the skin of pots she
then dips and brushes, readies
for their passage of fire.
Outside, palm shadows strewn across
the yard, dank as violence,
are dispelled by bowls, basins, bottles,
luxurious with light, water and flowers.
Their stillness—a refuge, a cleansing, commands
homage and trust. Porous, glazed by grief,
chambers of her heart open to others.
Photo courtesy: Ilona Yusuf
Blaine Marchand is the author of eight books, six of which are poetry. His books Aperture (poems, prose and photos of Afghanistan, 2008) and The Craving of Knives (2009) were both nominated for the Archibald Lampman Award for Poetry. A young adult novel, African Adventure (translated as Aventure Africaine) was published in 1990. His work has been published in Canadian and American literary journals.