THE BEAD WORKER
- a prose poem

By Gabrielle Blair

 

Focused like a surgeon, he pokes his needle into a mess of glassy beads,
and picks out the chosen one to press into its bed of wax.
Pick-poke-press; pick-poke-press.
How quickly the little pile of beads dissolves.
His left hand cradles a perfect miniature dog,
with large pricked ears and  doleful eyes,
a Chihuahua that observes his coat appear.
Tiny dots of color explode into a star-shaped pendant
with two black-bordered shoulder-pads to match.
Its grey, waxed, naked skin transforms into a riotous rainbow.
His lined face is serene; his voice is quiet, unhurried.
Years of patience has shaped his demeanor, for you cannot rush his craft.
There’s no wasted move – rhythmic, like the ticking of a metronome:
pick-poke-press; pick-poke-press.
He pauses to stretch his aching shoulders and rest his eyes.
Thirty years ago he asked a Huichol to teach him how to paint with beads.
The maestro laughed and said: What’s to teach?
Just go away and start!
And so a bead-bedecked panther was born.
This one, the first of hundreds of exquisite creatures,
traveled with him to the States and back
before it found a home in Ajijic.
Ten hours a day the maestro works his beads:
pick-poke-press; pick-poke-press,
until the table groans beneath its bounty - a garden of delights.
Here a yellow giraffe, with orange spots and zebra-colored mane, towers
more than a meter high above a tubby, emerald elephant with playful coiling trunk.
There a haughty tiger keeps a stealthy watch on skulls with caverness eyes
and geometric patterned cheeks.
Sparkling bracelets, belts, necklaces and rings compete for space
between iguanas and a blue and red starred tiger with large beige paws.
Flower-shaped earrings drip from hooks, and over there, the maestro works,
his face shaded by his Huichol feathered hat, with brim of dangling beads.
It will be a week before the Chihuahua, its fantastic coat complete, will join the menagerie: bright plumed parrots, a lion,
a one-horned purple deer and a magenta-maned, black stallion.
Each magical creature waits to captivate a soul who, for some pocket money,
will take it home to find a place of honor,
like the star-studded, golden tiger on our piano top,
homage to the Huichol’s art of bead painting.
 
 
Pin It
Bridge By The Lake  By Ken Masson April 2020 Bridge By The Lake March 2020 Bridge By The Lake February 2020 Bridge
The Poets’ Niche By Mark Sconce December 2013 Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) October 2013 Translations: A Chinese
Child of the MonthBy Nicole Sergent   May 2018 Izel April 2018 Maria Guadalupe A.T. March 2018 Meet The Children January
The Golden Age Of Mexican Cinema By Herbert W. Piekow   In March 2010 I went to Museo de Arte de Zapopan, with my friend Juan Carlos, to see an
The Dark Side Of The Dream By Alejandro Grattan-Dominguez, Arte Publico Press 434 pages $11.95 US Reviewed by ROB MOHR (Initially published in The
Wordwise With Pithy Wit By Tom Clarkson   This morning, my pal F.T. – who shared the Iraq experience with me during my third trek there – forwarded
LAKESIDE LIVING Kay Davis Phone: 376 – 108 – 0278 (or 765 – 3676 to leave messages) Email: kdavis987@gmail.com November
Front Row Center By Michael Warren    The Pajama Game By Richard Adler and Jerry Ross Directed by Peggy Lord Chilton Music directed
Every Word  Important By Herbert W. Piekow   Every word a writer writes has meaning yes, sometimes they never get published or the book
LEGERDEMAIN—Italian Style By Jim Rambologna   Enzio Grattani was the Editor-in-Chief of a local rivista (or magazine) in Ajiermo, Italy. Locals
 Find us on Facebook