—Illustrations Courtesy of Public Domain
A large, moist block of clay awaited his touch and imagination. It stood on a solid wood pedestal and was covered with damp cloths to keep it supple and to prevent the studio air from drying it.
Ah, the air, a variety of musty, vaporous odors, a treat for his nostrils as he entered the room each morning. The air told of the clay's origins and composition. It brought images of plants, trees, and animals, decomposed, buried deep inside the huge lump of clay.
To the sculptor, it was as though they were there in the room alive again, a wild forest of long ago, creatures ambling through shrubs and grasses. Behind trees caches of badgers, beavers, spiraling snakes, foxes, and wolves, with their animal scents, co-existing, moving about among the vegetation, consuming it as they went.
He reached inside the moist clay to reveal the scene, first with his hands and fingers, then an arm, and found a baby deer. The deer looked at him curiously, lovingly. Its ears curved as leaves curve. The sculptor caressed its bowed head. With a cutting tool he carefully carved the rest of its graceful body from the dense mound of clay.
He continued passionately, digging in deep to find as many forms of life as he could. He must release them all, bring them back to life again. They were counting on him.
From day to day, all in all, life is tragic.
It passes with a flutter of the wind.
Survival requires a link between luck and logic,
maintaining a safe and even spin.
All around me things are changing.
Against my will, my world is rearranging.
I have lost so much for which I cared.
Often I wonder what is happening,
what unimaginable horrors await.
I pray to escape, not be trapped in.
I struggle in a prison of fate.
Yet, in spite of not knowing what lies ahead,
my life force is strong. I refuse to lie dead.
A TURTLE ADAPTS
His shell was his home, not a burden,
though it slowed him down.
What mattered most was security.
He'd pull his head, tail, and feet inside
and rest from the day's travels,
from his journey's travails
and stay still as a rock
while pulling in the sun's rays,
yet cool and undetected, protected.
The journey was long, but it didn't matter.
He had all of eternity to be
peaceful, sheltered, and covered.
Swift bird, fly on.
Let your strong wings
carry you to new, unknown places.
While I follow with trust and love,
a passenger, shielded beneath
those sure, fanned wings.
—Medusa, with thanks to Linda Klein for her fine poetry today!
Northern California and otherwheres,
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