Friday, September 7, 2012


We who've joined
 newest gathering , are just going along,
singing our 'Spirit-Cloth-Diaries' song.
Wherever we're going,
I'm happy as a kid with new wheels.

I've mulled another Indigo vat
in the deep side of my kitchen sink
gathered t-shirt projects
bits of cloth and things
plant materials
begun doing
Life goes on with all it's other demands,
but when I return to my nest
sumac* waits for me
to bundle with and dip
  unwrap and look
bits of red and yellow
embedded there
winged shapes 
+ this
 = this

You Begin
You begin this way:
this is your hand,
this is your eye,
that is a fish, blue and flat
on the paper, almost
the shape of an eye.
This is your mouth, this is an O
or a moon, whichever
you like. This is yellow.
Outside the window
is the rain, green
because it is summer, and beyond that
the trees and then the world,
which is round and has only
the colors of these nine crayons.

This is the world, which is fuller
and more difficult to learn than I have said.
You are right to smudge it that way
with the red and then
the orange: the world burns.

Once you have learned these words
you will learn that there are more
words than you can ever learn.
The word hand floats above your hand
like a small cloud over a lake.
The word hand anchors
your hand to this table,
your hand is a warm stone
I hold between two words.

This is your hand, these are my hands, this is the world,
which is round but not flat and has more colors
than we can see.

It begins, it has an end,
this is what you will
come back to, this is your hand.

*Sumac was gathered in Massachusetts.  It makes wonderful pink lemonade
-just soak overnight-a handful in a big jar of water-
and it's full of  the best vitamin C,  so I will not be using it all for dyeing.

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jenni-lynn said...

Ms. Loving this post... All so inspiring. The dress though is a wonder. It looks like a forest under water...and all this beauty from one side of the kitchen

Nancy said...

Your dyed cloth is fantastic! That is a really nice poem too. Thank you for sharing it all.

Els said...

great dyeing
and a lovely poem, might be a start for a cloth ....

bj said...

I love your eco dyeing :o) It reminds me that I need to start some hand stitching on eco dyed cloth from last fall. You are such a busy lady, but your posts are so peaceful...

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

all so wonderful but that last
leaf print, did that come out
perfectly?????or What?????????????
you must be Happy!

MulticoloredPieces said...

Yes, peaceful, that's your style. And I see your quite inspired by the Diaries. Beautiful dying and I especially like the dress.
best, nadia

yvette said...

love reading your post

Jacky said...

Beautiful poem and I love your dyeing....that dress is wonderful.

Weather is warming up over here (very slowly) and I am keen to get an indigo vat going.

Jacky xox

Deb G said...

You captured the shadow of a maple tree!

Velma said...

what good stuff going on for you right now. i keep thinking that these days of making and exploration and using the "stuff" of nature is making up our bundles for wintertime, winterthinking, winterwork.

Mo Crow said...

what a great post Michele, love the photo of that leaf in flight and all the indigo experiments and is that Mexican tree daisy seed heads in your pot? and the poem... ah! a toast to all the hands & good hearts in this circle of ragmates that Jude has gathered 'round.

sewing susan said...

Fabulous. I love how your post flows. I love the poem. The words are just right! Thanks!

Judy Martin said...

That poem by Margaret Atwood is new for me. It is so fitting. Which anthology is it in?

So glad to see that you are busy in your indigo kitchen....enjoying the world and the words that inspire.

Ms. said...

Golly it's such a pleasure to have you all visit here. Thank you, a thousand times thanks!

Peggy said...

I enjoyed this post immensely! Have a blue thing going so especially liked seeing your indigo dyeing, one thing leading to the next. Just wonderful. xo

Terri said...

Hello Ms.
I am loving your blog and this post! What a enjoyable visit I have had.
(Oh I do love an afternoon of dyeing!)