You work with what you are given,
the red clay of grief,
the black clay of stubbornness going on after.
Clay that tastes of care or carelessness,
clay that smells of the bottoms of rivers or dust.
Each thought is a life you have lived or failed to live,
each word is a dish you have eaten or left on the table.
There are honeys so bitter
no one would willingly choose to take them.
The clay takes them: honey of weariness, honey of vanity,
honey of cruelty, fear.
This rebus - slip and stubbornness,
bottom of river, my own consumed life -
when will I learn to read it
plainly, slowly, uncolored by hope or desire?
Not to understand it, only to see.
As water given sugar sweetens, given salt grows salty,
we become our choices.
Each yes, each no continues,
this one a ladder, that one an anvil or cup.
The ladder leans into its darkness.
The anvil leans into its silence.
The cup sits empty.
How can I enter this question the clay has asked?
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Rebus by Jane Hirshfield )
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Still I Rise
Edgar Allan Poe
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
William Ernest Henley
- the yes in me, RIC S. BASTASA
- Kalidasa, Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
- THE PRETTY SEA AND THE HARD ROCKS, MOHAMMAD SKATI
- Venereus, Bruce Hayno
- without tears, RIC S. BASTASA
- When You Speak to Your God, Robert Kane
- Maiden Of Ekwensu, Chibueze Oscar Osuji
- Whom to, gajanan mishra
- Holy place, hasmukh amathalal
- y0ur gR0uNd uP wAtEr makEs the wind so c.., sEaN nOrTh