"Archetypes" in brush stroke script, black on a white background.

Classic tales.

A collection of poems, with accompanying embroidered title cards, that explore the archetypal ideals. New and old interpretations both.

I worked on this in successive bursts; the poems were written in about a month late in 2018. The designs for the embroidered titles took about a week, and then it took me only two weeks to sew them. It was the first embroidery project I’ve executed from start to finish.

“Master of Everything and Nothing” embroidered In green script, on dark bookshelves with books the colours of autumn leaves.

Teacher, dear teacher. Oh great repository. Oh great collector. Let us inside the pages of your volumes, let us wallow in inky lines and blank pages. Let us fill up on your encyclopaedia. Quench ourselves within you.

Watch over
Bare witness

“Protector” embroidered in green cursive with a glowing metal lantern.

“Sat at your knee, you lit up a path” embroidered in green with a dappled red and gold wingback armchair.

We traversed it eagerly, delighted by these unexpected experiences. We grew older, and returned to sit beside you; you showed us a new side to our well-worn coins. We walked old roads with new eyes and new hearts, and when we returned we stood at your shoulder. As you bent our ears, we smiled and wrapped those words around us like a cloak, readying ourselves to journey once again.

The beauty of childhood is fearlessness, of running free and reckless. Until the jaws of world bite down, hobbling and deforming, chaining legs that used to run free with shackles of fear.

“Running Ahead Reckless” embroidered in green full capitals with two tan birds.

“Listen Well” embroidered in green cursive with a dual toned dark brown feather.

Now, I lay,
My checkered past,
The stories of my life.

A woven welcome mat,
Of warnings and wayfindings,
A ledger and a logbook.

I hope,
You will learn,
Build off this foundation,
Push past the apex I once found,
To new heights.

Come with us, revel in this beautiful life. Refuse to regret, embrace the beauty of sensation.

“We Unapologetic Heathens” embroidered in green with an abstract pale yellow rippling design.

“the Quietest Breath” embroidered in green with a bare branched tree.

A silent shadow, falls,
Caught in stillness, and anticipation.
The edge looms, opportunity veers.
To take, or not to take.

Once more into the breach.
Take a deep breath,
Take the plunge.

Quietly, carefully,
From the sidelines,
A shadow.

Clears a path,
Covers tracks.

“Cupped Hands” embroidered in green with an outline of dark skinned cupped hands.

“Builders and Thieves” embroidered in green, with a marionettes frame with loose strings.

It’s a compulsion,
fingers on puppet strings,
an ugly addiction.

It grips us all tight,
strings us out over endless nights, missed meals, black skies,
and the wrong side of sunrise.

Oh to be edgy,
To claim a male parent
As grand.
To be caught up in the patriarchy
Taking over a feminine arena
Yet again.

But really,
Why miss out.
Let’s build up the social
Of how to dad.

Women have been learning how to parent
Since they were children themselves
Pushed by society,
By ‘grow up, marry well, raise children’,
By pairing children off with ‘same sex parents’,
Like a father can’t understand a daughter,
Like he shouldn’t even bother to try.

Screw that.
Muscle in, step delicately,
Be there,
Don’t be square,
Mix your metaphors,
Ask for clarification,

But for the love of every good thing
In this fucked up world,
Don’t write it off,
As something ‘I’ll never understand.’

Don’t take ‘You can’t understand’.
Challenge that notion,
Make the effort to fit
Other people’s understandings
Into your world view.

“The Great Father” embroidered in green with a child sized pair of red pants and an adult sized pair of striped red and white pants.

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