by Joady Perrett

“It is not pots we are making but ourselves.” — M.C. Richards, Centering

a lump of clay bumps roughly
between my palms
I bathe it with water
brace my arms on my knees
tighten the pressure of my hands

massage the wet lumpy clay
up and down
as it rotates
until it softens

revolves seamlessly
within my stillness
invites me to open its center
breathe life into it

I listen through touch
for boundaries and possibilities
within this vessel
this potter
these hands

with a passion
always alive
always new
I am a child at play
a monk in prayer
a woman at peace

Joady Perrett has been writing since 1987 in an attempt to sift and sort the path and passage of her life. She began writing poetry out of a need to crystallize deep feelings, emotions, and experiences. She has been a studio potter for forty-five years and a pottery instructor in her own studio. She attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston,Texas, and Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock, North Carolina.

About Awakened—I wrote this poem in response to a class assignment to write about the nature of happiness.