Tuesday, March 25, 2014

TUESDAY POEM | Antarctica by Katherine Glenday


Sounding bells | 80 feet below the ice - Explorers Cove, New Harbor, Antarctica 2008
Katherine Glenday (with a little help from her friends!) Photograph by Shawn Harper


                                                  Our thoughts form us
                                                  And like the forams
                                                  And the caddis creatures
                                                  We live in our
                                                  Patterned habits

                                                  I can run with this
                                                  And do
                                                  Away from text and fact
                                                  And the common herded wayfare
                                                  Of thought and learned behaviour

                                                  It is too dense for me

                                                  I am overwhelmed already
                                                  And the truth of it
                                                  Scampers off somewhere
                                                  And snarls in the brambles
                                                  Beneath the woods
                                                  Of a forest of trees

                                                  I would rather drop my sounding bells
                                                  Below a frozen sea
                                                  And watch with my long distance heart
                                                  As my friends swim them down

                                                 To sing an angelus
                                                 On the ocean bed

                                                 Here all things are weighed
                                                 In the company of creatures
                                                 Who build their hearts on the sleeves
                                                 Of their houses.

                                                 Katherine Glenday

Katherine and I met at the age of eighteen as we embarked on a degree in Fine Arts at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg. Our lives have been woven together in ways mundane, mysterious and magical ever since. During our 2008 season in Explorers Cove, Antarctica, scientist Sam Bowser and I traveled with a series of porcelain forms created by ceramic artists Christina Bryer and Katherine. (You can see some of these on my new, very-much-still-under-construction, website here - scroll down to the bottom of the Antarctica page).

Katherine lives in Kalk Bay, a quaint fishing village in Cape Town (SA). Last weekend she opened the doors of her home and studio to the public for an extensive retrospective - 30 years of her exquisite porcelain work. The words 'numinous' and 'luminous' come immediately to mind. She is an artist in light, her work at once grounded in the natural world and occupying a space that's 'beyond' form. Weightless. Metaphysical. It needs to be seen to be believed --- please visit Katherine's website, prepared to be moved, awed and - yes - altered.

This week's editor on the Tuesday Poem hub is Janis Freegard
with Tuatara by Nola Borrell

Please click on the quill. 


  1. This is a lovely poem, with a lot in it to think about. I especially like "watch with my long distance heart" and the idea of creatures building hearts on the sleeves of their houses.

  2. What a wonderful artist Katherine is. I would have loved to have seen here retrospective. How nicely she ties her poem together with "...Our thoughts form us..." and "... Here all things are weighed
    In the company of creatures
    Who build their hearts on the sleeves
    Of their houses."