Poetry / Sarah Rice

I am shadow

I am shadow
I demarcate
one blade of grass
from its brother

and unite objects
together on the wall
hat-stand couch-
corner pot-plant

I make shape
out of line
and frame form
I follow and lead

I am shadow
black bird
in water
twin in air

I take flights of fancy
that cost nothing
It is nothing for me
to fly over hill or field

Nothing escapes me
not even the highest cloud
I follow the cloud and the ant
at the same time

I am as fast as the sea-eagle
but it takes me all day
to revolve around one tree
The magnet has no hold on me

I am shadow
I change one thing
in light of another
The passing cat

cast crooked by rock
The mast warped by waves
The pen broken
on the book’s spine

I am shadow
I pay attention
to detail

A basket is all weave to me
I respect each strand
no thinness
is too thin

My edges take on
what I touch
soft wool
sharp wire

I am honest
I do not lie
I cannot pass over
even the smallest wrinkle

I sleep in eye sockets and jowls
and the space between nose and lip
I am all that shows nostrils exist
I am good with spheres

I mould the roundness of breasts
and the cylinders of fingers
I find a way of secretly
touching other people

I am the perfect partner
I believe in pairs
in coupling
I will never let you go

I am shadow
I take no note of caste or creed
I am the great leveller
cliff cup cow are all one to me

Like a child
I run on ahead
then drag my feet when
it’s time to come home

I hide under tables
and will not come out
I overreach myself
find it hard to sit still

I become a star
under many lights
and nap at noon
I play hide and

seek with the sun
and I too
lose myself
in the dark

I am shadow
At any given point
I am holding
half the earth

Sarah Rice

From “The Weight of Giving” series – monoprints on earthenware clay.

These are images of large ceramic platters by Sarah Rice from the ‘Weight of Giving’ series – monoprints on earthenware clay.

Their conceptual background comes from philosopher Emmanual Levinas’ idea of the hand that gives, in opposition to the hand that grasps – and the weighty and difficult responsibility of real giving and hospitality- remembering that another function of the platter is to offer hospitality.


"The Weight of Giving" series - monoprints on earthenware clay.

From “The Weight of Giving” series – monoprints on earthenware clay.

6 thoughts on “I am shadow

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