Friday, December 23, 2016

The Fragile Edge of a Leaf

When we were building the place at the edge of the wood
near the Tip of the Mitt in Michigan, 
I was the person who did
most of the interfacing with the architect/contractor,
Dick Kappler. This picture, 
which I took of a blown leaf there, 
reminds me of him in two ways. 
When he was building the porches
(which are a very special part of living there--
the bridge to the woods.)
he made a big point of using cedar wood. 
He also pointed out to me that he used screws,
rather than nails, because of their superior holding power
over time. When I took this photo, 
it was the blown leaf--the hole, the tattered edge--
I noticed. Only later, did I think of the experience
of building that house.     jhh

Harvesting the Attic

3.     Made things

Here's the hula dancer I made.
Here's Santa Claus.
Here's May-baskets. Here's
new crepe paper, and a spool
thing that one runs it through to make
the rushes of the hula skirt.

Here are parts of linen pin-wheels
Grandma made, sitting
in the bay window in the sun,
the sun on her shoulder,
and the heating pad, to help
the sun, and the small hooded hook
darting from the fat pads of strictured
huge-jointed finger and thumb.
The hook flashes, winks sunbursts,
filigrees venomous pain.

Jean Pedrick                (1922-2006)

Wolf Moon; a book of hours by Jean Pedrick
Alice James Books, 1974, page 50.

Jean Pedrick is another gift from my poet/librarian friend, Pat Shelley (1911-1997) who I have mentioned frequently in this blog-- and whom I have thought of even more often. Another friend and I acquired Pat's poetry books, and a brown envelope with three Pedrick chapbooks was part of my share. It was only last year that I read these small books and was stunned by their power. 

Then I got others, including this one, through the used book market.
Jean Pedrick was a founding member of Alice James books, an important group that was formed to publish books by women. I knew about this group, but hadn't know her work. I'll be putting other poems by her into this Memory Thread.

This poem is a section of a longer one about the attic, including the mouse life that was part of that space. I chose this section partly because of the Santa Claus, and partly for the grandmother. My brother Robert talked to me about our father's mother--he got to know her on a long visit after I had left home--and the small braided rugs she made.

And all of this is an example of why I call this blog The Memory Thread. It was that same brother who wrote me--as he was dying from cancer--that the memories he was writing came to him easily--he got hold of a little piece of "string" and kept pulling and the memories came easily.  jhh

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