Poetry / March 2013 (Issue 20)

Ink: A Recipe

by Bryan Thao Worra, art by Mia Funk

Mo. Ink.  Two characters:
Hei, Black. Earth, T’u.

Labour to make this fluid.

In illumination:
Chao Kuan-Chih in the twelfth century
Composed the Mo Ch'ing: The Ink Classic.
For every dynasty prior and pending, the revered liquid
Was a foundation for constancy and changes.

The basics stay: Lampblack and glue.
Draw lampblack from fine harvests, special pines ignited.
By a flightless feather brush, your soot collected
Is mixed with glue pure as hart horns,
The hides of the hunted and the tame.
Good ink depends on good glue.
This gives texture, life.
The living, the burnt bound.

Perhaps we could consider memories, dreams teeming
Within, awaiting a brush, a pen, a surface, an open eye
In a human face.

Meteorite Shower, oil on canvas, 100 x 100 cm
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