Inking up!

Inking up!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's All Poppy~cock

The poppy has always been one of my favorite flowers. It's showy, comes in many colors and varieties, and carries powerful medicine. The poppy inspires me.

For the 10th Anniversary show for May Day Press I made several little flower books. Poppy was the first.

My idea was to use a strip of paper as long as the press could carry and do only one print run. I didn't want to glue or sew any pages together to make the book longer. The text had to fit in the length of the press bed in one line. I sat with the poppy and drew on all my knowledge of its history and medicine to write a poem. I worked the poem in the press bed so it would fit and the pages would fold in between the words. It was a challenge. I love the result. Four pages for the four petals.


Weaver of fantastical journeys.
You are the spice of dreams,
healer of unbearable hurt,
rattle of oblivion.

I ended up with far more to say about the poppy and began working on a second book. This one was more dense with text, and like Hazel Tree Lore & Legend, came in a small box with drawers full of stuff.

Poppy: Seed, Petal, Leaf & Pod. 3" x 3" x 3" What looks like blue is really dark purple.

A selection of pod varieties with paper petals in the big bottom drawer. The top drawer holds the book and seed packet.

Box with book's title page and a paper packet of poppy seeds. The book is letterpress printed with a tiny border of 6pt. poppies in different colors bordering the bottom of the text pages. The text gives various cultural uses of the poppy, both past and present, a recipe, and other facts. One of which is that opium was once used as a spermicide for birth control. This leads me to my current project --

Sex In The Garden. My poppy and other flower shaped books are coming back to mind as I work to develop a flower shaped book for Sex In The Garden, something to hold an essence of the experience without the dryness of a lecture presentation. I was visiting my book artist friend Diane Jacobs last week, and she and her husband gave me some inspiring support for this book. Thank you!

Of course there is so much left to do in the garden, or should I say, left undone. . . ? But walking about and taking pictures of the mess revealed some beauty. This poppy was expressing the other side of life.

In less than a week we will be celebrating Imbolc, an old Gaelic celebration of light and the beginning of spring. Yes, spring. How our calendar and seasonal markings became so odd, I am not sure. But around here, spring is surely happening. The birds are singing again and plants show signs of renewal. The light is returning and it is calling us up out of the compost of the past year and into the possibilities of now.

Poppycock - (from Wikipedia) Anglicized form of the Dutch pappekak, which literally means soft dung or diarrhea (from Dutch pap pap + kak dung) - is an interjection meaning "nonsense" or "balderdash".

1 comment:

  1. so rich, this, and i love the sex in the garden theme. because isn't that where it happens??? spring is still long away here, but i have heard of robin sightings. but it's not even mud season yet, though some ice broke up, we're back to "froze". i really like the poppy poem.