some books

 i finally got to putting together some of my samples
from my february trip
i made three books
and a few samples, too,
while (or in australian, whilst) teaching
 the bottom book
was completed at
my wee residency at beautiful silks
and provided enormous entertainment for me
one long night
 this stationers bound sample book
filled with silk and paper contact prints
and shifu and eucalyptus blooms,
in a fit of experimentation i dunked it into the wife.
the wife is a wise and enormous vat of indigo
and my book came up gasping for air
going from sludge to blue
but also starting to sag and would have torn itself to bits
from the wife's good juice.
so i supported the thing 
as she completed the color magic
then set up a drying system, which was no mean feat 
considering the dry book weighs only an ounce or two, 
but wet,
well she sagged under her own weight.
iowa flax case paper cover and various handmade and machine made papers,
and shifu
hold a lot of liquid.
so, once the color stabilized i began
the tedious blotting dry 
and using a fan and a drying rack and many towels
 all night long
she dried, stabilizing the spine and then the pages. 
yesterday i sewed in all the loose bits and have a finished book
thanks to beautiful silks and the wife
also as i sorted out the work table
 i unearthed a little book i made 
years ago from scraps
from the trash at pbi
 oh, and a feather and someone's measuring notes.
and took a picture
 i, like jude, have been thinking
~of weave~
 in motion
 and finally focused
spun paper, kami-ito,
and canada thistle paper
of course it is!
weave holds the universe together.

here in melbourne

 before i left the north country
 we were waiting for
 or just enduring more
today, my second day in melbourne
i am wearing shorts and sandals
my legs protesting and very pinky pale
and my mind a bit weird
from jetlag.
 leaving ottawa
 and the great white north
 i traveled
 to the big chicago
 over lake michigan
 and again into the air to the city
las angeles
for a ridiculous nine hour layover
 i did find a spot of grass and some trees
(amidst dreadful cacaphony)
 and a plane headed to china
 this is my first siting some 15 plus hours later
of australia
 enveloped in a haze of smoke
 from extensive wildfires.
when we landed i could smell it--
 and in melbourne there was
the little shop of horrors
 or flowers
back at the ranch
 the indigo was beaten
 by the strong arms of
 who cares for this stew 
of blue
and, incidentally, me, too!
 outside beautiful silks
where i'm teaching
 are some things i like very much
old texts, and in the sky