One Single Impression: Ochre

Watching Mr. Rogers
One soft summer afternoon
Years ago
While my daughter
Nodded off in my arms

I watched an Indian woman
The making of a vessel
By reaching into the earth
For bits of ochre
That she rolled under
Her slender fingers
Into a thin strand
And then spun
Round and round
Spiraling up
Wider and wider
And then in again

And then a pinch and pull
To create a spout

And she was done.

Thank you,

Mr. Rogers said,
And the show was over.

As I nodded off then,
My mind rolled back
To college--
Those literature courses
Full of symbols
That loaded simple things
With too much meaning:

We murder to dissect,
As the man said,
And when that fails
We cram our subjects full
That we might find something
When we dissect.

Vessels were feminine symbols,
The professor said,
And suddenly literature class
Was a mixture of biology, sex ed, porn.

A vessel,
I learned from Mr. Rogers,
Is what you can make
If you touch the earth
In the right place
Warm it in your hand
And turn, turn, turn
With it
Keep going until you're

A vessel.

One Single Impression


  1. So poignant, there is sometimes much more to a vessel, than meets the eye...
    Have a lovely weekend dear Sandy,

  2. lovely on many different levels. deep like you...

  3. oh, lots to ponder here, Sandy.

  4. if I can touch the earth, Sandy..I would like to change te children´s lives.

    nice poem

  5. Beautiful prose to tell a story with complex insight.

  6. No one tells a better story and particularly a complex and poignant one. Perfect one for the day. Have a lovely weekend, Sandy!


  7. Best of the Web!

    Aloha from Hawaii

    Comfort Spiral

  8. interesting story and so well said!

  9. Beautiful!!

  10. Sandy, this is so beautiful!

  11. Great poem embedded with symbols.

    Women are likened to earthen vessels: A vessel has a womb, delicate and attractive depending on how it is moulded.

    We (women) are what we call "weak vessels". We need to be handled with care or we crack and break.

    That's how Mr Rogers was showing the class for its symbolism.

    Thanks for the visit. Your comment made me teary.

  12. A great poem, Sandy, with fine stratified concepts.

  13. one can actually learn from each segment. this should come from an experience worth sharing.

  14. All vessels began an an artform. Great words.

  15. From Mr. Rogers, to Indian pottery, to the classroom. Your memory of past events comes with astonishing detail. I like the way you weave these together into art. A nice commentary on life Sandy.

  16. Sandy, this is very beautifully put..what a take on the prompt..

  17. Thank you Sandy, isn't it amazing what images stick with us years later? I've learned that emptying my vessel helps me 'be' more present in my world whereas year ago I thought I had to cram it full. Thank you for reminding me again...

  18. "And suddenly literature class
    Was a mixture of biology, sex ed, porn."

    How i wish i can see vessel as a vessel.

    Wonderful poem.

  19. gorgeous piece Sandy, I truly enjoyed this.

  20. Beautiful. An insight from childhood, for those mature enough to see it.

  21. Hi Sandy. Yes, those Indians did this dully colored pretty pottery so well. Especially the ones from the Southwest.
    Oh yes, I never did kill a frog or disect a dead one. I didn't kill anything to learn.

  22. A wonderfully written poem! I remember Mr. Rogers growing up. Thanks for sharing!


  23. Stunning work, great imagery.
    I remember watching the earthen pot making process many times. And doing it myself once too:) We use these earthen vessels everyday in our households to store water, it keeps the water naturally cool, exactly the right temperature.

    Thank you for writing this, loved it a lot.

  24. kinda reminded me of the movie ghost. i like the speaker's point of view - sharing to the reader her experience/

  25. You have a wonderful talent for sifting the insight from experience.

  26. That was the perfect mix of storytelling and poetry and through in a little Mr. Roger's wisdom and knowledge as well. Wonderfully done Sandy!

  27. Beautiful Sandy, just beautiful.


  28. hello sandy, ohhh mr rogers... gotta love em... we've all watched him... creating and creation goes well together... symbolism is a big deal and doesn't hafta be a puzzle or complex.. funny how a classroom could create thoughts such as yours that day and today you put it to pen so eloquently... i love the beat and sway of this post as a wave coming to shore and touching ones toes with the carefree wandering of water..

  29. Anonymous11:29 PM

    You recreated such a beautiful imagery and weaved thoughts along with it. Wonderful to come here and read your writes.


Post a Comment

Thanks for being here.