A Shard of Design



“Tedious as it may appear to some to dwell on the discovery of odds and ends that have, no doubt, been thrown away by the owner as rubbish … yet it is by the study of such trivial details that Archaeology is mainly dependent for determining the date of earthworks. … Next to coins fragments of pottery afford the most reliable of all evidence …”
― Augustus Pitt Rivers


What if

the shard of pottery

pictured above

was never more than just a shard

was never a part of something greater than itself

what if

there was no whole

this is the whole of it

these were thoughts which drifted

through my mind


it had reconstructed

within its confines

all the supposedly missing parts

of the shard

until it held a saucer in its invisible hands

and a cup

filled with tea

it decorated them both with

the willow pattern

because this was a familiar blue and white design

it had grown up with

and thus it used nostalgia

to fill in the blanks

(perhaps later generations would

fill in the blanks

with a Facebook, Twitter or WordPress logo

as they also use blue and white

in their designs)

of course it realised that it was being fanciful


like the cup and saucer held in invisible hands

serving invisible tea

the mind was held invisibly

by a rather visibly tired body


I had just discovered

this shard

during the latter stages of rather arduous work

clearing an overgrown area

in the garden

and even though I was beginning to hallucinate

I was clear about one thing

that this shard must be kept

and treasured

as any good archeologist would

(although I’m not an archeologist…

I have a nostalgic wish to have been

while realising that I wouldn’t have been good at it

because the job itself

is rather dirty and dull

for the most part)

upon finding such a find


“A home is not a museum. It doesn’t have to be furnished with Picasso paintings, or Sheraton suites, or Oriental rugs, or Chinese pottery. But it does have to be furnished with things that mean something to you.”
― James M. Cain