The Fertile Rocks

for Jole Bortoli of Art to Heart

She sent us out to the Burren to look

up close – far away, up close – far away

up close at pock-holed rock

far away at the sweep of an ice-weathered mountain

up close at golden lichen.


Back in the studio she gave us clay

and said: make the creature who lives

in the fertile rocks of your imagination.

I made a slow worm with attitude,

a snaky roll of clay with eyes,

furred with threads of yellow and red

like curvy exclamation points.


Then she said:

make this creature’s opposite.

I made a druid, very old, very wise,

burdened with leadership.


The druid fell apart

but the slow worm continues,

shimmying along my window sill,

resplendent with attitude.

Monica Corish