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Sunday 28 July 2013

Conversation Piece

Too far-fetched by half, it seemed,
to those whose births had been less public,
that you could bolt a man together.

But so he'd been;
assembled there from six steel bars,
their eyes by turns
amused and disbelieving.

The one raised from a bag of dust
had found it most incredulous,
the other two seemed not to care,
were happy to enjoy the show.

One against each wall they stand,
too far apart for intimates,
yet visitors can plainly sense
there's dialogue between the four.

The steel man
in new zinc coat
and pastel shade of patina,
rings forth his voice
(as well he might)
whenever small boys
(armed with questionnaires
and drawing books)
tap him with their pencils.

The woodblock man
happy to be free
exhumed at last
to be himself
not part of something else,
shaved to a baldness that is sensuous,
invites the hands of visitors
to assist their eyes,
range over contours
and discover forms.

And from a hundred hands a day, he learns
the image that is new to him,
the image of himself.

The man raised from the dust,
mixed with water, pummelled
to a new consistency and shape,
with every birth pang left --
a kind of hall mark --
on the surface of the clay.
He is the guru of the four:
too old, too wise, too holy
for the straying hands to touch.

The stone man is the most remote of all.
Has most in common
with the wood block, I suppose.
Except he is aloof, a world unto himself.
Perhaps his birth was just too difficult,
the trauma just too great to overcome.


Kalyan Panja said...

beautiful words!

Mary said...

Ah, the dialogue between the four WOULD be a most interesting dialogue indeed.

Brian Miller said...

from a 100 hands a day he learns himself...that jumped out at me...between the four of them each has their merits and each their failings...i wonder at what they have to say to each other...

kaykuala said...

A foursome of likely chatty beings. If only they could be given the opportunity to converse. Nicely Dave!


ds said...

Oh, this has been such a Zen weekend. The four elements: metal, wood, earth, stone so wonderfully portrayed here. "And from a hundred hands a day, he learns/the image that is new to him,/the image of himself."
Love that. Thank you, sir.

Cloudia said...

You see into, and have sympathy, with the soul of things.


A Cuban In London said...

A quartet on whose conversation I would be keen to eavesdrop! :-)

Greetings from London.

Dave King said...

Many thanks.

I agree.

Mmmm, maybe I should have axplored that...

Maybe they should have been?

ds So pleased that you saw that in it. Thanks.

Very kind of you to say so. Thanks.

A Cuban in London
Mmmm, does seem I cut the poem off, just when I should have let it rip!

Jenny Woolf said...

I like the hundred hands a day too. It would be interesting to see the same thing created from different elements - not sure I have seen it done by any sculptor, although it must have been really.