Jack's Christmas Special 2016


The picture is sepia-toned
like the not-too-far-distant war

the need to stay silent at mealtimes
so her father can hear

every radio news report
the need to pose paramount

in the stiff lines of this schoolgirl
reaching out a tentative hand

to the strangest of beasts
in the latter stages of dementia

my father removed her photos
replacing them with snaps

of his militaria
I don’t think she understands

what we see in this picture
the meekness before authority

the gentleness of the pose
the dark fringe of trees

in a faraway world
where my mother

has just been told
to pretend to feed

a wallaby


For Jack's special handmade Christmas gift this year I'm working with this gorgeous poem he wrote recently in response to the photo (above) of his Mum when she was a little girl.

I made fabric covered frames for the poem and image.

I printed the poem on thick, acid-free watercolour paper and hand-stamped a border around it. The felt frame and the stamped design were loosely inspired by two more images by Margaret Preston (see last post), this time of Aboriginal motifs. Jack's mother is Australian, so that explains the choice of design.

I mounted the two pieces in simple wooden frames from Factory Frames. All I need to do now is screw a narrow hinge between them so that the piece can be free-standing like this. I had planned to make a quilted frame for them, but I much prefer the pair of joined wooden frames.

I plan to spend the next few weeks writing, sewing, snacking and snoozing, so I hope you have something similarly indulgent in mind too.

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone. 


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