Sunday, January 17, 2010

Planet Earth

Loved as if Embroidered with Flowers, fabric and paper collage (2002)

It has to be loved the way a laundress loves her linens,
the way she moves her hands caressing the fine muslins
knowing their warp and woof,
like a lover coaxing, or a mother praising.
It has to be loved as if it were embroidered
with flowers and birds and two joined hearts upon it.
It has to be stretched and stroked.
It has to be celebrated.
O this great beloved world and all the creatures in it.
It has to be spread out, the skin of this planet.

The trees must be washed, and the grasses and mosses.
They have to be polished as if made of green brass.
The rivers and little streams with their hidden cresses
and pale-coloured pebbles
and their fool's gold
must be washed and starched or shined into brightness,
the sheets of lake water
smoothed with the hand
and the foam of the oceans pressed into neatness.
It has to be ironed, the sea in its whiteness.

and pleated and goffered, the flower-blue sea
the protean, wine-dark, grey, green, sea
with its metres of satin and bolts of brocade.
And sky - such an 0! overhead - night and day
must be burnished and rubbed
by hands that are loving
so the blue blazons forth
and the stars keep on shining
within and above
and the hands keep on moving.

It has to be made bright, the skin of this planet
till it shines in the sun like gold leaf.
Archangels then will attend to its metals
and polish the rods of its rain.
Seraphim will stop singing hosannas
to shower it with blessings and blisses and praises
and, newly in love,
we must draw it and paint it
our pencils and brushes and loving caresses
smoothing the holy surfaces.© 1994 P.K. Page

I read this poem today as part of a presentation in church that included the United Church moderator's letter about the lack of action on Climate Change at Copenhagen. By Canadian poet P.K. Page, it is part of a United Nations program to foster dialogue among nations.


  1. mom, i heard this P.K. Page reciting this poem on cbc this morning, needless to say, i thought of you! beautiful.

  2. judy, when did you do the collage??? surely not the same Sunday???

  3. HI Faye (Hi april too)

    I did the collage ages ago - right after I bought P K Page's book of poems called Planet Earth in 2002.

    I was just so inspired by the text.

    I remember that I made two collages at the same time, the other one was inspired by a novel. They both had women's eyes in them.

  4. Anonymous2:44 pm

    Hey Judy,
    Indeed a beautiful and inspiring P.K. Page poem to accompany your even more beautiful and inspiring work.


Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx