Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wood Carving from Bali







The rings of the spalted wood circle each woman’s breasts-
and one ring forms each voluptuous belly.

The artist holds the beginning piece until the mermaids speak,
until they weep and beg for their own dawning,
bellies, breasts and hands reaching to the artist’s,
the two women bending and swaying like the slow waves of the Balinese sea,
hand and arms vining from the curve of the wood,
those gestures the artist knows well.

Somewhere at the end points, a spalted curl,
a treasured fault, no error at all,
but the explicit evidence of concentrated power
turned in on itself, a sunburst within the wood,
the outward blooming of focussed energy giving in to itself, reclaiming,
a seed imploded, a twist of the inner force,
energy curled outward to catch the artist’s eye,
or rather to seize it,
to demand love, and tender loving carver’s hands,
the rough places asking for sanding and polish,
so that light will gleam there and beg for the touch,
so that passers-by will forever reach out to the wood,
to those firm and gentle ringed breasts,
the bellies smooth like pears or tears.

The human hand asks to reach for them, for the swaying sea-women
and the cool ageless hardness of the polished wood,
bursting inward with eyes and hands as we all can,
calling to the carver, the artist’s infinite patience, scale and leaf,
to twine forth from the turning wood into our yearning humanness,
smooth, ringed, spalted icons, the reach of the tree’s hands.

Annelinde Metzner
Woodstock, New York
July 13, 1995


Watch Balinese woodcarvers at work here.


Raddha and Krishna








Ganesh








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