Suggested words

Museum Tales 4: Pot Oiseau

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Pot Oiseau

Shall I sing my song now. Does it sound of soft liquid purlings.

Could this be the beginning. Where was everything. Was it just a void, a nowhere, an absence. Did you see a shapeless form appear. Was it a fog. A nebula. Was it myself that condensed out of this cloud.

What should I be. Something alive. A creature. Could I be a bird. Was I just the dream of a bird. A thought. A word. Was it ‘oiseau’ or ‘vogel’ or ‘uccello’. Do you remember how I tried to have feathers and dainty bones. And flutter and perch. Was it all hopeless.

Was it clay I scooped up then. Was I too young to shape myself alone. Where did I find hands. Were they Pablo’s hands. Were his fingers the fingers of children. Did you see me press my clay into his palms.Did I pinch myself with his touch. Was that me licking myself into shape with his Spanish skin. Did I tell you how I ached to be a bird but the clay wanted to be a pot. In the end was it a bird-jug we agreed to be.

Were Pablo’s brushes painted with slate blue and charcoal when I smeared myself against them. Did you like my zinc white plumage like stone. Are you amused by my human face. Was I baking in the kiln for long. Can I call myself terra cotta. Do I look a little like a snail to you. Or a post-horn.

Am I not a dove. Colombe. Paloma. Pijon. When you look at me do you see a work of art. Or a pitcher of cool water. Would you like me to pour you a glass.

Shall I sing my song now. Does it sound of soft liquid purlings.

Tony Spiers


Inspiration: Picasso’s ‘Pot Oiseau’