Prospero’s Bowl

... it was mine Art ... let thee out.
William Shakespeare:  The Tempest, Act 1, Scene 2

Turned from a piece of venerable oak,
it’s a simple bowl, barely four inches
across the middle, as cross-hatched,
grooved and whorled to give the grain
its due as leathery skin, but soft
and warm as summer to the touching hand. 

He offers it across his work-bench
on an open palm as a piece we might
afford and silky with a final sheen
of oil, it sits there, rotund, unshowy,
glowing under the dusty anglepoise
like river light before a gathering storm.

In the lane, a tractor’s grinding uphill
towards one of the farms, two collies bark
from the bed of the cart as it brushes
a tangle of flowering elder
overgrowing the workshop window, fine
grey drizzle begins to settle in.

So what do we think?  The bowl sits waiting.
An acorn dropped a thousand years ago
lies doggo, bides its time, finds room to breathe,
stays put during centuries of seasons
while tides roll in and history moves on.
Take me or leave me, I’m not in any hurry.

Ken Head

If you have any comments on this poem, Ken Head would be pleased to hear from you.