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Visual Verse Poetry Reading and Photography

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The second volume of Visual Verse, a book of poetry and photography published by the Literary Arts Guild of the Center for the Arts, Lake Sunapee Region and Lake Sunapee Protective Association.  

Visual Verse

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"Visual Verse" 

Art and Poetry inspired by The Fells 

Purchase your copy 

at Morgan Hill Bookstore, or at The Fells 

or order your copy by emailing us HERE

info@centerfortheartsnh.org

October Poetry

by the John Hay Poets

 previously published in the Intertown Record. October 22, 2019, Vol. 27 No. 43 

  

IMAGINATION

What is it, this ball of clay?

I see it as nothing more than an inanimate object of little or no value

When in my imagination, creative thoughts are born.

My hands slowly knead and stretch the clay

Propelling it forward in a nurturing process

Until it no longer resembles its original form.

Among the storms and rainbows in life,

Are our relationships not like balls of clay?

All moving mysteriously in calculated precision

Toward unforeseen goals.


-Florence Wiltshire Millett, New London

ONCE A LUMP OF CLAY

If I were a ball of clay

I’d be enticing you to play


You could pinch me into a pot

Or anything I’m presently not


Or center me on the wheel

Throwing a pot with great zeal


While you form my lump of clay

Your mind might go astray


Dozens of shapes you could make

Wonder which one you’ll take            


As you steadily improvise

My shape begins to grow in size


Soon a beautiful bowl

Made with great control


Into the kiln it goes

The result – nobody knows!


Once a fired pot

You really like me a lot


Covered in blue glaze

Beauty it conveys


Once a lump of clay

Now an artistic display!


-Anne Sarkisian, New London        

  THE BOXER

I'd name myself Cassius Clay.
If I were fine soft ceramic rock
I'd sculpt myself  rising up every day
Modeling my fists so they could knock
 

Out my opponent to the floor
And knead him with glaze firing speed
That he'd call to me "no more"
my punches causing his porcelain nose to bleed.
 

I'd be self hardening.
Standing, jabbing, spinning
On the pottery wheel -
The ring - where I'd be winning.


-Skip Hause,  Lake Sunapee

  POTTERY LESSONS

As a ball of clay, I would never want

to be taken off the potter’s wheel, 

begging the potter to keep caressing

and pressing, his hands keeping me soft 

and pliable, my moist lips forming

the rim of a vase to hold flagrant

pink peonies then, changing his mind,

fashioning them into edges of a platter

to hold succulent oysters. 


Still on the wheel, I can become anything

he desires, anything his imagination conjures. 

Forever malleable I can teach his students 

so very much, when to gently caress, 

when to press with more force 

and when to let me collapse 

into a happy ball of wet clay.


-Dianalee Velie, Newbury NH

  

MUNDANE, CALM AND PEACEFUL

A ball of clay

has  no eyes

has no brain

no sense of smell

how mundane


A ball of clay

no appetite

no taste buds

no need to be fed

how calm


A ball of clay

no sense of hearing

no sense of urgency

no need to be - anything

how peaceful


-W. D. Tighe, New London

A BALL OF CLAY

A ball of clay is round


A ball of clay is inert


A ball of clay is quiet


A ball of clay is curious


It could be baked in a kiln


It could be passive


It could be aggressive


It could be lonely


After all it is only a ball of clay


-W. D. Tighe, New London

A BALL OF CLAY

To my wife, Melanie

The wheel turns

       under your feet,

your hands wrapped

       around me, gentle, sweet.


I am lost, found,

       reborn, to be

whatever you make me.

       I surrender

to your kiln’s heat.


-Ala Khaki, Amherst NH

  CLAY

Before you can be clay, you must be still,

lying prone without a ripple or a wish—

no chasing flags, no leaping walls.

Your ears must be wide-open, grounded

so they hear the earthworm’s words, the songs of stones,

the sibilance of silicate and stars. You must be 


parched, cracked open, sun’s fair game. You must be

slurried by relentless torrents, dissolved 

in the imperatives of streams, carried

like raw treasure ransomed from the wilderness


until you’re slippery no more, no longer filled with grit,

but quiescent, pliant, firm enough 

to bear your being formed to something

far beyond the tumbling of the ages,

reborn through fire to service and to beauty,

become a stolid brick that weathers well, 

a vase so sheer the light shines through—

transformed at last by burning 

not to death

but to impossibility.


-Joan T. Doran, New London

 

IF I WERE A BALL OF CLAY

Someday, someone could mold the clay

    Into a bowl with my ashes to save

        To dissolve back down to the 

                 Earth, under a wave


-Loa Winter, Newbury