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POEM: Moon Jars 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:


In the making

two halves married as one:

the irony as iconic

as ancient form

awaits each half be joined as one.

Think kindly

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

as Korea

Just right

while Imperfect


demanding life, a presence,

large and solitary light

as now

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,

as one.

I wonder in the making.

What caused the line of rounded southern wing

to lift and fly

while other half slips back

to stray

affected not

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

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