Stepping in red soil countryGlazed Waterfall
past Minyon’s weathered drop
clay-smoothed hands cup a bird’s bath portal
iron furrows over silent rail bridge timbers
blinks into promised sky where tumbling rush of pebbles
recycle the ground and veins pummel
a sound like no other, tumbling gems
whose scales flash within

A shovel-scraped hill gathered grindings
from creek’s serpentine edge
skeletal framed fences sagging with rust and time
slow snake of earth’s leavings
ochres ores and dragon’s muddy scales, leaf littering the skies

NudeAloft in hillside’s clearing
a man tethered by creative urges
communal and solitary drifts between working
wheel and elastic flesh
pounding above the valley’s meandering
resting a moment in the afternoon’s enquiring sun
on a sofa watched by a reclining nude between drying racks
glazed nipples and legs apart, her forever wink

Slipped in the molten shadows
a cleft where the moisture of Gaia’s mouth
patters from the corrugated sky
feeds the umbilical scar and scatters
amongst her discarded clothes, the drying prints of his handDrying

Wire and wood embed where coarse nails
gently combed her knotted tresses
cedar and teak made way for pawpaw
frangipani reaches knotted arms
supplicants to the seasons overhead
he toils stacking the goddess offerings
chargers for the master’s trestle table
blank platters serving coils, salvers

Twisted kettles sake cups and gourds
each waiting deliverance, to be touched
by the devil’s driving breath
a seasoned hell of his own making
each firing an experimental in exercising controlMelted Teapot

On the red-scarred terrace
transformed seasons beyond winter’s crackled dryness
summer’s airless heat makes anew
tempered earth glistening with molten glass
hues unreadily returnable once scavenged
from the grounded one’s plumage
borrowed and mixed
in the pharmacopeia of his mind

Anchored in patches between the relentless rainforest
the potter-gatherer hews shapes of wood and iron
nets of marine steel silvery shoals of spot welds planted in the hillside
miles from high tide anticipating the winged catch of flying fish
above the river reeds’ spear-bed

In gathering mode she walks carved terraces to the eyrie
past night’s erect lanterns
casting the unfamiliar shadows of sundials
on entering his sanctumNude Busts
fingers the arc of lighthouse’s wooden beams
encircles the landscape of caldera’s hills
she follows all the women who’ve gone before her
stumbling at the threshold

Arriving too late for Alice’s silent tea ceremony
cobweb empty platters after guests depart
where clay landscapes
repose in fractured reflection
against the corrugated iron wash house walls

Without him here her transaction must wait
for today he’s gone fishing in the skyBirdbath
for lightening’s elemental glaze
harvesting late winter’s morning flower
she places red petals on the birdbath
leaves a pencilled message in a journal of dusty ideas
then departs via the hillside path
into the dappled day, she’ll write again

Alexandra J Cornwell
16 August 2015 (edited for publication 12 September 2015)

After visiting various ceramics studios on the ‘North Coast Mud Trail’ as part of the Australian Ceramics Open Studios weekend on 15 & 16 August 2015. The photographs are from the grounds of Suvira McDonald’s studio at Goonengerry in the Byron Bay hinterland not far from Minyon Falls.


Alexandra J Cornwell – on location!

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