Kintsugi by Michael L. Utley

Two women's heads black stone sculptures back to back with kintsugi golden repair work done
Image Source: Canva Pro

In the winter hour

Of my broken soul

This fragile vase cannot contain

My essence

It sits cracked

On the cornerstone of my hut

Catching melting snow

From which my heart drinks

My soul, old and plain

Cannot match the pace

Of setting sun or rising moon

Or brisk stream

Nor can it

Rival beautiful sakura

Kiku or fuji

But it is my soul

Born in raku fire

Tested by the flames

Etched and pitted by the glaze of

Toil and tears


Has found me at last as long years

Pass by on the trail

Up the mountainside

Misty mysteries

Hidden from my eyes

As I watch my sorrowful tears

Melt the snow

I have lost

Many pieces of myself through

Seasons of regret

Too many winters

How can I replace

All that has perished

All my soul has cannibalized

In my pain

Who can find

A way to patch this vase that leaks

My life on the ground

Draining my essence

Who will knead the clay

Who will brave the snow

To gather golden suisen

Seal the cracks


Make my mournful soul whole again

Gild my wounds and heal

Me with tender care

Fill my soul with hope

Set me on the path

Up the mountainside so I may

Find my way


*kintsugi – Japanese Kintsugi Art (golden repair)


Mike is a deaf writer/photographer who lives in rural southwest Colorado, USA.  His love of nature shines through his poetry and photography, both of which he uses to make sense of his world.

Please visit Silent Pariah to read and view more of his wonderful work.

We would love to read your work. Interested? Please READ our SUBMISSION GUIDELINES.



35 Comments Add yours

  1. Terveen Gill says:

    Michael’s poetry reads like a prayer recited by a broken soul. As life progresses, the soul finds itself weathering many changing seasons, some causing more damage than others. Hurt can be too intense and voluminous to contain, and the cracks and breaking pieces may never fit the same way again. But there’s always a way to feel somewhat whole again, and what better repair than kintsugi, golden lines of glory detailing the miseries. Let’s rediscover a newer way of being.
    Congratulations Michael!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Mike U. says:

      Thank you so much, Terveen, for choosing my poem. Your description is spot-on–it is a very prayer-like piece, seeking healing for a lifetime’s worth of hurt. Choosing to acknowledge and even celebrate our scars goes a long way towards accepting ourselves, and can perhaps even lead us down a better path. Also, the photo you’ve chosen fits this piece perfectly. It’s truly an honor to be included here on MasticadoresIndia. A sincere and heartfelt thanks, Terveen. It means a lot to me. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Amazing piece, Michael. Touching and heartfelt. Truly enjoyed.💕

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mike U. says:

      Thank you kindly, Grace. I’m so grateful for your support. I’m glad you enjoyed this one. I appreciate it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I sure did. My pleasure, Mike.💕

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ashley says:

    A wonderful poem by Mike! Like a prayer to all those broken pots that once contained our lives.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mike U. says:

      Thanks, Ashley. I like how you put it: “all those broken pots that once contained our lives.” You’ve captured the essence of it. Much appreciated. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Joan says:

    Writing with such honesty and grace might be the gold that makes whole the broken parts. Thank you, Mike.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mike U. says:

      Many thanks, Joan. Your appraisals are always so thoughtful and wise. Sometimes it’s difficult to accept who we are and those events that crafted us into our present selves. Shame, guilt, pain, trauma, regret… But in the end, all those things contribute to our real selves. I agree with you: writing honestly can mend a lot of wounds, and perhaps can give others the courage to face their true selves as well. I always appreciate your comments, my friend. A sincere thank you, Joan. 🙂


  5. A great piece of writing, Mike

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mike U. says:

      Thanks, Jay. I’m glad you enjoyed this one. I appreciate your kind comments and support, good sir! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful poem, Mike. The art of Kintsugi has intrigued me for decades, not only with its artistic beauty but with its message about human life, how easily it breaks, and how those cracks add richness, depth, and poignancy to the journey. There is a lovely peace and acceptance fostered by those beautiful imperfections, and I loved that quality in the end of your poem.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mike U. says:

      Thanks, Diana. When I first learned about Kintsugi, I was fascinated as well. It’s not just the beauty of the finished product, it’s also the time, effort and dedication required to mend these shattered pieces. There’s a lot of work involved, as well as a lot of introspection. The end result is beautiful because of its flaws. The flaws and their repairs add such depth of character. I guess you could say I’m still trying to mend my own flaws and it’s an ongoing process that takes too much time (patience, grasshopper). Will the end result be beautiful? Will anyone care? Will it even matter? I don’t know. But what else can i do? I’d rather try to heal than continually stare at all those broken pieces in despair. Anyway, thank you so much for your kind words. I value your thoughts and comments so much, my friend. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      1. The end result will be beautiful, Mike, but so is the process. And it matters because you are part of the whole. There’s gold in our seams.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Saima.SK says:

    Congratulations, Mike👍🙂 It is so beautiful poem, loved it💕 your poems always leave me speechless. I really wish to have your book some day.. your work really deserves to be published. All the best👍🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mike U. says:

      Thank you so much, my friend Saima. I’m happy to know you enjoyed this poem. I still hope to have a book of my work someday. It’s definitely a dream I’ve had for a long, long time. Encouraging words such as yours fill me with hope. Thanks as always for your kind support. It means so much to me to know my words resonate with you. Much appreciated. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Saima.SK says:

        My pleasure, dear Mike 🙂
        Dreams inspire hope in our lives.. i wish and pray that your dreams come true, amen! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Cassa Bassa says:

    Hope rebuilds and perfects.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mike U. says:

      Many thanks, Cassa. Hope is such an important concept. Sometimes it’s all we have to see us through the darkness. I love the beauty of Kintsugi and how the gilded cracks represent acceptance and even celebration of who we are as humans, flaws and all. “Hope rebuilds and perfects” is a wonderful way to express this concept. Thanks so much for your kind words. I truly appreciate it. 🙂


      1. Cassa Bassa says:

        I enjoy reading your poem and the wisdom behind the kintsugi art form.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Michele Lee says:

    The pain and longing are palpable. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mike U. says:

      Thank you, Michele. I have to confess there was a lot of pain involved in the writing of this piece. It was healing to get the words out, expressing my sorrow and pain and fear. I really don’t know any other way to write, and it can be emotionally exhausting to the point of emptying my reservoir of creativity. I wouldn’t have it any other way, however. My hope has always been that my words will resonate with others and perhaps they will realize they’re not alone. Thanks so much for your kind thoughts, Michele. Very much appreciated. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Michele Lee says:

        I understand writing through the pain and the healing that follows. I have had similar writing experiences. You are most welcome. I look forward to reading more of your work. 🙏🏻

        Liked by 1 person

  10. No matter what pain and sorrow you are going through your writing is always golden like this piece that touches every cord inside as I remember well those times of feeling bereft and wondering if it would ever would end, doomed that it wouldn’t. This is so beautiful with so many gorgeous metaphors.
    Well done my friend!!! 💕❤️💕

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mike U. says:

      Thanks, Cindy. I can always count on you for wonderfully uplifting comments. The old adage “Write what you know” applies here, I suppose. There can be a strange beauty in sorrow, and it certainly can be inspiring and spark creativity for some folks. I’m not sure if I could write a happy poem. I just tend to lean more towards what I’ve experienced in my life, and writing about it does help. I’m glad you found this one to your liking. Your constant support and encouragement are so appreciated. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh Mike, I’m glad you know that and I am always in your court. When we’ve walked that path solo in the dark, we never forget. I don’t. Kindred spirits holding each other up in light and darkness.
        Love your heart and work always!!! It always helps for me to write as well and who knows when it changes-:)
        Love and hugs always in prayer and good vibes .💕❤️💕🙏

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Kirsten says:

    Beautifully penned, Mike. Congratulations. 💕

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mike U. says:

      Thanks a bunch, Kirsten. I always appreciate your kindness. Glad you enjoyed this one. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kirsten says:

        You’re very welcome, Mike. Always a pleasure🤗

        Liked by 1 person

  12. jonicaggiano says:

    I love the metaphor as pottery which is cracked. This is a powerful and sad yet living things out in writing can also be a way of healing those hurts that build up. A beautiful piece. Blessings to you, Joni

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mike U. says:

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment, Joni. Sometimes, when looking at all those shards lying on the floor, it seems an insurmountable task to gather them up and begin the arduous work of piecing them back together. I suppose this epitomizes the concept of “It’s the journey, not the destination,” although the final destination can be more beautiful than if the vessel had never been destroyed. I suppose it’s all in how we look at it. Fix it, or leave it broken. When I first saw photos of pots repaired using the Kintsugi technique, I was fascinated by the overwhelming beauty and stunned at how much time it took, how much careful attention to detail was required, and how much compassion was involved. I’m still working on this stuff in my own life (especially the self-compassion part, which seems to he the most difficult for me). Anyway, thanks for your wonderful comment. I truly appreciate it. 🙂


  13. Gorgeous, Mike. I love Kintsugi.

    Also, I love the idea (not originally) that only a broken heart/soul can contain the infinite…


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mike U. says:

      Many thanks, good sir. The concept you mentioned with regards to a broken heart/soul containing the infinite is really profound. A while back, someone referred to Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem” lyrics, where he says, “There is a crack, a crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in.” It’s sort of comforting to think of trauma in this way, imagining the cracks in our souls being windows to the infinite, and allowing healing to take place. It certainly doesn’t feel like it at the time we’re experiencing the trauma, or the many years afterwards when that trauma is influencing our lives in such negative ways, but those cracks…such a brilliant way of looking at it. Whether it’s letting the light in, or allowing our own light to shine forth, perhaps there’s a reason for those imperfections after all. Thanks, as always, for your kindness, David. I really appreciate it. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s