Follow the Drinking Gourd

drinking-gourd-s

If the Devil calls,
sing powerful thoughts: a love
that composes hope.

Inscribe celestial paths,
showing the way to freedom.

For Black History Month, the Borough President’s office is hosting an exhibit of quilts by members of the New York Quilters of Color Network.  Some of the quilts incorporate patterns used as codes for travelers on the Underground Railroad.  Seeing the North Star pattern reminded me of the song “Follow the Drinking Gourd”–the drinking gourd being the dipper, home of Polaris, the North Star.

north-star-close-up-s

The North Star here is surrounded by another coded quilt pattern, the Wagon Wheel.  The words are from the secret keeper and Colleen’s tanka challenge this week.

The Fifth Fact
By Sarah Browning

For Ben’s project he must research five facts
about his African-American hero and write them
on posterboard. He chooses Harriet Tubman,
whose five facts are: Her father’s name was Ben.
Her mother’s name was Old Rit. She was born
in 1820 and died in 1913. She was born in Maryland
and died in New York. Ben asks for advice
about his fifth fact and I suggest: She led more than
300 people to freedom. Ben sighs the way he does
now and says, Everyone knows that, Mom.
You can read the rest of Sarah Browning’s wonderful poem here.
If only, Ben.  If only everyone knew their history.

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About memadtwo

For more madness, follow me on Instagram @h_zimel :)

16 responses to “Follow the Drinking Gourd”

  1. The Poetry Channel says :

    Very nice, quilts and accompanying.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Teresa Robeson says :

    Love everything about this! What a lovely quilt piece that is! Both your poem and Sara’s are so touching.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Colleen Chesebro says :

    Your creativity always inspires me. I love your take on the prompt words and how you incorporated in the quilts. Well done! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jodi says :

    creative and touching!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash) says :

    This is really gorgeous! Love this one! 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sunshine Jansen says :

    If only indeed; but you help so much to keep the faith that “one day…” Been away some little while, and missed your arts and insights while we were both gone gathering inspiration. Beautiful works, both!

    Liked by 1 person

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