reference is made to jeremiah 18:2-4
concerning the potter’s wheel

reference to hands is concerning…

piano keys and hands



jeremiah’s hands were once trained to grace the ivory keys
now he waited, shaking and wasted
he’d worked the fields in salinas
…strawberries and wine grapes had drawn him there
and steinbeck kept him wondering for awhile

these hands had worked the potter’s wheel
answering the call as his namesake had done
but the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands
and he learned about friction and torqueing
so his pot, like his life, trembled badly off center
collapsing in his own weary hands

to steady his hands, he painted
seascapes and beautiful women in wind-blown skirts
bright pastels, acrylics and oil
he owned only one canvas, painted over a hundred times
until his paint tubes were as dried as his handsfinally, as a mechanic, his nails were chipped
his skin broken, chapped, dry and bleeding
until cracked fingertips no longer felt pain
no longer held steinbeck’s ‘east of eden’
no longer touched his broken piano or held strawberries to his lips

the music died at the absence of his hands
strangled and now quiet
he looked at his hands and wondered
what could have been had he never wrung these hands
when desperation and desolation became his keyboard
when isolation defined his journey

these hands were lonely and quiet
comforted only by one another