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I Am the Vessel

Blaine Marchand

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.


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