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Poetry Saturday: One + One

Poetry Saturday: One + One

Tammy January 15, 2011 2 comments

Queen of Cups, ceramic torso with beaded belt, 22" tall, by Tammy Vitale $475



     by Tammy Vitale

Humming in the back of her throat was
the truth she couldn’t say out loud, and so
she embroidered white on white except
for red from pricked thumb like the heroine
of a fairytale that got lost because the men
would not write it down, unable to keep the
story and change the hero into a man.

She thought between stitches of Mozart and
morning breakfast dishes which needed clearing,
of the turtle that used to live in the pond and how
hummingbirds battle all day long over sweet
nectar free for the taking.

(the above is a snippet that feel a bit incomplete but it won’t let me back in, so here you have it!)

     by Neil Gaiman

Touch the wooden gate in the wall you never saw before.
Say “please” before you open the latch,
go through,
walk down the path.

A red metal imp hangs from the green-paint front door,
as a knocker,
do not touch it; it will bite your fingers.

Walk through the house.  Take nothing. 
Eat nothing.
However, if any creature tells you that it hungers,
feed it.
If it tell you that it is dirty,
clean it.
If it cries to you that it hurts,
if you can,
ease its pain.

From the back garden you will be able to see the wild wood.
The deep well you walk past leads to Winter’s realm;
there is another land at the bottom of it.
if you turn around here,
you can walk back, safely;
you will lose no face.  I will think no less of you.

Once through the garden you will be in the wood.
The trees are old.  Eyes peer from the undergrowth.
Beneath a twisted oak sits an old woman. She
may ask for something;
give it to her.  She
will point the way to the castle.
Inside it are three princesses.
Do not trust the youngest.  Walk on.

In the clearing beyond the castle the twelve
months sit about a fire,
warming their feet, exchanging tales.
They may do favors for you, if you are polite.
You may pick strawberries in December’s frost.

Trust the wolves, but do not tell them where
you are going.

The river can be crossed by the ferry.  The ferry-
man will take you.
(The answer to his question is this:
If he hands the oar to his passenger, he will be free
to leave the boat.

Only tell him this from a safe distance.)

If an eagle gives you a feather, keep it safe.
Remember:  that giants sleep too soundly; that
witches are often betrayed by their appetites;
dragons have one soft spot, somewhere, always;
hearts can be well-hidden,
and you betray them with your tongue.

Do not be jealous of your sister.
Know that diamonds and roses
are as uncomfortable when they tumble from
one’s lips as toads and frogs:
colder, too, and sharper, and they cut.

Remember your name.
Do not lose hope – what you seek will be found.
Trust ghosts.  Trust those that you have helped
to help you in their turn.
Trust dreams.
Trust your heart, and trust your story.

When you come back, return the way you came.
Favors will be returned, debts will be repaid.
Do not forget your manners.
Do not look back.

Ride the wise eagle (you shall not fall).
Ride the silver fish (you will not drown).
Ride the grey wolf (hold tightly to his fur).

There is a worm at the heart of the tower; that is
why it will not stand.

When you reach the little house, the place your
journey started,
you will recognize it, although it will seem
much smaller than you remember.

Walk up the path, and through the garden gate
you never saw before but once.

And then go home.  Or make a home.
and rest.


  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    January 16, 2011

    Tammy, I love the way you use words! “Untitled” is short, but it makes me think so many things that it becomes deliciously long afterward.

    Your Queen of Cups is fabulous! I love everything about it: the subject, the the movement, the glazes, the symbolism, all of it. Just WOW

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    Tammy Vitale
    January 16, 2011

    Thanks Barbara – Queen of Cups is one of my favorite ceramic pieces.

    I like Untitled altho I think it has more to say, it just isn’t ready yet.

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