POEM: Moon Jars of Korea
Photo by 문화재청(Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea)
Poem by Frank Turco
As I watched a You Tube video of Korean Ceramics artist demonstrate the making of a moon jar and as two halves are married to make one, the irony encapsulated in the existence of of this powerful cultural art form in the context of the separation of the two halves of Korea was riveting. I was moved to write this poem:
MOON JARS OF KOREA
In the making
two halves married as one:
the irony as iconic
as ancient form
awaits each half be joined as one.
of Korea's plight
in contemplation of Moon Jar
When I, with potter's I
perceive reflective light
as presence in my reality from afar
I see an elegant white moon jar
demanding life, a presence,
large and solitary light
in turn after the sun,
another lesser light will dominate the star lit sky.
I wonder still
to see the jar's
historic culture toiled will
to have halves joined,
I wonder in the making.
What caused the line of rounded southern wing
to lift and fly
while other half slips back
by topsy turvy play.
While rebuking chords of universal sound
shrill rebound from hill
in fear, no echo bounds
of sound heard but not returned at will Still as Moon Jar
now demands each half be laboured still.
Hands push and pull
move clay from ground to finish for
minerals from white the sweetest ground now speaks a silent sound and now echos back from those same hills.
Moon jar life refractory still
reflects the hidden light to earth
which blocked the sun.
Time then as now, for us, does not abound.
It matters, still, as then and now
the ancient need to push, pull, coax and breathe
the universal clay around
again as then with patience, calm
rejoice when two halves
join in the making of moon jar