Tuesday, December 13, 2011


In the space between words
we remake the world –
grubbing it out of the garden
kneading it on the kitchen bench
polishing it with beeswax.
It is the raku pot, the bead
my son rotates in the flame
the fibre I rub and twist to felt.
These tasks of sweated effort or
delicate energy this bread we break
the black and white photo, the painted icon
the trees planted in another place
this wild stitchery we resolutely form

that song lifted in praise and careless
of time or coin. 

Catherine Bateson, December, 2011. 
Each year I write a 'christmas' poem to put on cards and each year I hold my breath, hoping that I will, in fact, write the poem. There are limitations - it has to be short, for a start, and suitable for a diverse audience. This year's was inspired by some beautiful gifts from a student. One of the writing students from GippsTAFE is also a ceramicist and he parcelled up a number of his works to distribute among the Professional Writing teachers. I received two small exquisite three-legged bowls. As someone who has always practised craft, mainly but not exclusively, fibre crafts, I wanted to honour that gift - and those more daily creative endeavours which enrich our lives. 

Sorry to have missed last Tuesday's poem - my old little terrier went missing and I was struck down with despair. It took a week before she was located at a pound quite a way from us - so happy to have her back! 

Read more Tuesday poems here. Oh, and the featured Tuesday poet? Lyn Hejinian with a terrific prose poem. How much do I love that hybrid form!


Melissa Green said...

Catherine, this is absolutely lovely. All that happens that is ordinary--and beautiful--does happen in the white spaces--in between words, in between stanzas of poetry--and with it, as you strikingly do not say is such gratitude. Thank you.

Cattyrox said...

Thanks, Melissa.

Elizabeth Welsh said...

'Remaking' is an enabling thought around Christmas time and absolutely worth the highest praise. It is stunning how you express remaking and crafting as small acts of remaking the world - beautiful. I love the idea of a yearly Christmas poem, too!

Kathleen Jones said...

I love this - it's so vivid and particular.
Glad the poems finally arrived Catty - hope you like some of them!

Cattyrox said...

Thanks Elizabeth and Kathleen - the Christmas poem came about when my kids were little - back in those days, my daughter would do an illustration for the poem. One year we did collages which was lots of fun. Then she graduated to photographs - and that was great, too. Now she does her own Christmas photos (and quite possibly this year will write her own poem!).