Over the years I have been blessed to have many talented people visit my art studio. One such couple, from Nova Scotia, Canada, were fibre artist Valerie Hearder and her poet husband,Veryan Haysom. After showing them my artwork and spending an entertaining few hours having lunch in the garden, they departed with a sprig of lavender I had given them, perched upon their dashboard.
A few weeks later, I was delighted and touched to receive the following poem from Veryan:
(for Sally Scott)
Your sprig of lavender on the dashboard,
reagent separating sage and purple
from the Oteniqua and Tsitsikamma,
divined flowers between ranges – violet and amethyst
pooled like Langkloof lakes – and scented our journey
with earth-embedded rain,
mordant for the making of this land.
It needed to be made – this place of rusted bottle-caps
flat on whorls of thread-bound string,
this meld of miner and seamstress –
grace in gumboots and flames in grass –
this realm of layers peeling prints of char
from underfoot shoots through morning dew.
They needed to be made – fiber-beaten stones,
veldt rags, red silt tatters, dry-river cloths annealed
in a furnace of rock ruins to the sorrow
of an unforgotten farm, and your garden –
a release from sand’s memory
and the melt of high latitudes.
Aloes, too, needed to be made –
spikes, orange and crimson, on leafless
stems rising from rosettes rooted in grassless
barrens. Flowers against the blue aridity of sky –
colour of the unseen core
mark of the maker of this land
ancient fire seared in.
Thank you, Veryan!
To see what Valerie does, visit her websites: www.valeriehearder.com/ and www.africanthreads.ca/
To all my friends around the world, I send blessings for a peaceful and creatively productive 2013.