Dad walks the valley
When icicles hang the wall
And Greasy Jane kneels the pot
He cobbled our shoes with old bike tyres
The sheets he cut down the middle
And sewed from the outside
"There's lots of wear left in them."
And Dick the Shepherd blows his fingers.
He walks miles for his work
And nightly sings the stirring owl
"A spoonful of Emulsion - cheaper
Than Cod Liver Oil, or Malt."
Rent 8 shillings, the Widow's Pension 11
And Tom brings logs into the hall.
In 2014 artist Lois Blackburn began working on two history quilts
with older people in rural Derbyshire. Stitching the Wars is the story
of a community that survived two world wars and harsh poverty. It is a
kind of documentary, constructed with recollection, poetry, and the art
of stitching. Perhaps in making it, a few wounds were healed.
series of poems accompany the quilts. All of the stories and poems here
are people's own words. They speak not only of violence, or sadness,
but also of great affection for the past, for their fellow humans, and
for the beauty of the land around them. In love and in hate, in war and
in peace, you'll find their words here, set among stitched fields of
greens and browns and blood red.