Wednesday, December 12, 2018

A Song to the Weavers

—Poems by Marchell Dyon, Chicago, IL
—Anonymous Photos of African Quilts



A song to the sweet weavers, mother quilters
Their love folds in every seam
Let us celebrate them
These women wearing the faces of embroidered dreams

Bring together patches ironed and colored
Bring together pieces of clothes worn long ago
From nothingness springs each corner

When all faith and hope is lost
Let the evening fires bring together
Weary and gracious hands

Many hands moving needlepoint
Cotton-filled four folds perfection

Never do these quilting hands become cold
Or do they become tired as the evening runs thin
Their loving warmth protects us from the chilled wind

We will learn from them
As we rest our heads on their knees
From this viewpoint, we began to see

By the rhythm of sight,
By the hymn of hands moving

We learn geometry by memory
This warmth,
We carry generation to generation

Into wintery nights, we don’t shiver
Something more lines these quilted pockets than silver

A song to the sweet weavers, mother quilters
Their love folds in every seam
Let us celebrate them
These women wearing the faces of embroidered dreams


The moon looks pale gray like dove feathers
Like my hair, ah wisdom

Like ebony stones pitched into a puddle of rain
Over the years, how my reflection rippled with change

My mirror with the dog-eared edges peels away its sheen in time
Leaving behind crows’ feet and childbearing lines

Wine and jazz still left in these bones
Livelier the melody, sweeter the song


Another song for the lady with the graceful silver hair
Age might have tamed her bones
And her pain may have caused her anxiety
She remembers then her unshakable belief
In a higher divinity

A woman still elegant in all her ways
She greets you always with a smile upon her face
Because she has recognized the blessing
She has received from the Ancient of Days

Her life beautiful and good
To the world, her unshakeable faith is a marvel to behold
Her religion often misunderstood
Almost fifty years her faith never did it fold

As for the lady with the graceful silver hair
All have been enriched by knowing her
She has shown love and with compassion heard
Our sorrows and our fears of tomorrow
She looks to a bible verse to calm our nerves

She offers a deep friendship
Like the one she has with Yahweh
With these words let us appreciate her today

She is a yellow rose
Even though her petals now are not as bright
Still, she casts a golden light
On all those she knows

Even though a diamond will tarnish in stages
A diamond is still a diamond
Even as it ages

As a rose is still a rose
She will always be
The lady with the graceful silver hair
Wherever in eternity she goes

                          (for E.B.)


Today’s LittleNip:

My mother had bought a sewing machine for me. When I went away to college, she gave me a sewing machine, a typewriter and a suitcase, and my mother made $17 a week working as a maid 12 hours a day, and she did that for me.

—Alice Walker


Our thanks and welcome back to Marchell Dyon this morning! For more about the Bantu civilization, go to

And a note that Poetry Off-the-Shelves will meet tonight in Placerville at the El Dorado County Library on Fair Lane, 5-7pm. Scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right) for info about this and other upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that more may be added at the last minute.


 Celebrate poetry—and quilting!

Photos in this column can be enlarged by
clicking on them once, then clicking on the x
in the top right corner to come back to Medusa.