(after Tall Yellow Man, 2003, Stephen Bird, Wollongong Art Gallery)
(Dear reader, the layout of this poem is important — I did my best with wordpress, but if words go a wandering on your screen, it’s available here as a pdf).
in the long blue
from the mud of southern Iraq
he made prototypes to test
though glazed & fired, he never
so propped by the Dulux tins & rakes
they never wondered
put the Ma pot atop the Da pot
a ruined cup for great great gran-da
-station, now lies abed in Acacia Creek
I touch earth
the shimmer of water
iron oxide sludge
Imperial yellows of China
rich as rice pudding.
before god made adam
[take clay in hands, cup]
scapular, anvil, flexor.
said the necessary words,
what it was to be made.
firm feet to the cloudplate
stack ancestor urns accordingly.
glazed in Queensland dust, sheep-
a bullet shaped to a forehead.
creek-bed of memory
the glitter of zirconium
frowns & brows
for a lovely bowl / let’s arrange these flowers…for there is no rice. 
fit finches in a gravy boat
sons learn the songs of their fathers
rollicking chorus: beep, meep, oi! a-ha!
with little variation; daughters don’t.
the city, as if we’ve taken whatever’s to hand —
bricks eucalypts a yellow fascia a fountain a teapot
— & left it there for someone else to read.
Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) –
Here’s Stephen Bird’s sculpture – Tall Yellow Man – which is currently on exhibition at the Wollongong Art Gallery You can read more about Stephen at his official website. I’ve also linked this to Dverse, where Grace is hosting the bar and asks us to use imagery or personification in our writing.
And for because it’s wonderful here’s Gillian Welch and David Rawlings from 1997.