Commentary and Philosophy Poetry posted July 3, 2016

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We are all clay vessels.

Note in a Pot

by Sis Cat

What is a Clay vessel Contest Winner 
When my father died,
I carried his ashes
in a porcelain pot he made:
I scattered them in the desert
by his boyhood home.

As the wind swept his ashes earthward, 
I thought, "We are all clay vessels.
Once shattered, our bodies return
to the clay from whence they came.
What remains?"

Perhaps our souls rejoice, 
like a jinni freed from a rubbed lamp.
Perhaps hope trembles like a butterfly
on the bottom of Pandora's Box
after the world's evils escaped.

Once, my Dad gave me this note in a pot:
"It is said in the Orient
the small note in a clay pot
will always keep the love
that is sent to you."


What is a Clay vessel
Contest Winner


jinni=the Arabic spelling of genie, a supernatural creature in Islamic mythology like Aladdin.

Pandora's Box comes from the Greek creation myth about a curious woman who unwittingly released the evils of the world. The "box" was a large clay jar. Because of a mistranslation of the Greek word pithos, meaning jar, for pyxis, meaning box, the term Pandora's Box has endured.

I have not tracked down yet the origin of the Asian custom of putting love notes in clay pots given as gifts, but I know that my father picked up knowledge of this sometime during his sixty-year career as a potter and fifty-year career as a poet. The picture is of the actual pot and note that he made and gave me.

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