When I was a potter,
some pots needed orphanages,
whether birthed or aborted, a mistake.
Too raw, I recycled them into
mud once more, back to the earth.
No ritual burial, no chanting Kaddish.

Kneading clay back to fertile birth spinning centeredness and stillness
turning round and round
mound of moist mud
ecstasy through my fingers
and all over
my mud slush soaked body.
We were one.

Clay called to me, “Come play with me,
open me, form me,
touch me, color me,
use me, delight in me.”

Vessels of ceramic beauty, weird, altered, exploding pots
push past boundaries
and respond to my touch.

“In what fire will you finish me? In what kiln will I cook?
Electric or Raku or Anagama?
Heat high my body — transform me
until I am birthed firm and beautiful.”

When I did what I loved, and I loved what I did,
in delight and joy
night and day
on the potter’s wheel,
although I didn't understand Oneness
I was Oneness.
No separation.
Then, I didn’t know “G*d.”

Thank you, G*d, for the glory of creation,
of immersion and joyous passion fulfilled.

Today I am a Pot

May my outer self portray My inner self —

awakened, conscious, mindful of the wholeness, the harmony,
the strength,
the character, the integrity,
and the honesty of a good pot,
half-filled or half-empty,
standing upright,
glazed or not.

Gaze upon me or fill me with nature’s treasures:
tea leaves, a sunflower, pebbles, a pod,
seashells, lavender buds, fruit, or a feather.

Discover even more pleasure
when you look inside.


“Like the clay in the hand of the potter - he expands it at will - so are we in Your hand, O Preserver of loving-kindness ... ” - from the Yom Kippur service, ArtScroll Machzor, translation, page 121

“And now Hashem, You are our Creator, we are the clay and You are our Potter, and we all are the work of Your hand.” Isaiah 64:7 ArtScroll Siddur, page 127. Tachanun read before Torah, weekday mornings.

Otto Heino, of blessed memory, potter extraordinaire, died July 2009. Otto showed me his first place, award-winning pot from the Ceramics International show in Paris, and exclaimed to me that he “won FIRST PLACE because it was an HONEST POT.” That emet, truth, has permeated my being. Today, I held one of his baby pots.