Poem for the New Year

New Year’s Eve

 

Clay is fired to make a pot.
The pot’s use comes from emptiness.
~ Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

 

Already, dawn breaks earlier.

Day lengthens, quickening to light

as sun pulls in her tether

calling Earth home to hearth

like some busy mother, whose child

strays too far into the dark.

 

Time has come

to shatter the vessel

molded from soul clay

shaped by desire, fired

in will, packed base to brim

with joy, grief, fear and anger.

 

This pot fills my hands.

I weigh its heft,

trace intricate designs

engraved upon the surface.

All year, its usefulness diminished

Bit by bit, day by day it filled.

 

 Now, it serves no longer.

I must take glee

in the shattering finality

of its end; shout, scream, laugh

from my belly, wipe away tears.

 

Tomorrow, next year,

I’ll gather shards, grind them to dust, mix

them to mud, begin anew

to mold and shape

another jar

more useful,

more empty.

©2014 Christine Irving

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