Friday, January 15, 2021

Tapestry or Travesty

This wall hanging was a gift
from Gerry's Aunt Margaret Saucell
upon the occasion of Ben's birth.
Every animal is embroidered with a different texture!

To see more crewel embroidery by Auntie Margaret
and read more poems by Hazel Hall, go to my

First Fortnightly post of 2021:
Home Is Where the Art Is

@The Fortnightly Kitti Carriker
A literary blog of connection & coincidence;
custom & ceremony


I have known hours built like cities,
House on grey house, with streets between
That lead to straggling roads and trail off,
Forgotten in a field of green;

Hours made like mountains lifting
White crests out of the fog and rain,
And woven of forbidden music—
Hours eternal in their pain.

Life is a tapestry of hours
Forever mellowing in tone,
Where all things blend, even the longing
For hours I have never known.

~ & ~

Here are old things:
Fraying edges,
Ravelling threads;
And here are scraps of new goods,
Needles and thread,
An expectant thimble,
A pair of silver-toothed scissors.
Thimble on a finger,
New thread through an eye;
Needle, do not linger,
Hurry as you ply.
If you ever would be through
Hurry, scurry, fly!
Here are patches,
Felled edges,
Darned threads,
Strengthening old utility,
Pending the coming of the new.
Yes, I have been mending …
But also,
I have been enacting
A little travesty on life.
[emphasis added]
~ Both poems by Hazel Hall (1886 - 1924) ~

The connection that Hall makes between mending and travesty is similar to Cat Stevens' existential lyric. You may have repaired the fabric temporarily but not forever; the dearly departed loved one may have been been miraculously returned to life but not forever, for death is the certain outcome:
Oh very young,
what will you leave us this time?
You're only dancing on this earth for a short while
And though your dreams may toss and turn you now
They will vanish away like your dad's best jeans
Denim blue, fading up to the sky

And though you want them to last forever,
you know they never will, you know they never will
And the patches make the goodbye harder still

Oh very young,
what will you leave us this time?
There'll never be a better chance to change your mind
And if you want this world to see a better day
Will you carry the words of love with you
Will you ride the great white bird into heaven

And though you want to last forever
You know you never will, you know you never will
And the goodbye makes the journey harder still . . .

[emphasis added]

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