Tag Archives: my mother

Mother’s Creations – Poem


Handmade by Freda Kauc – acrylic and wool bag. (sold).

Mother

JK.Leahy  – Poem, Memoir

A wrinkled dusky pink sheet cradles a flowered meri blouse, a laplap and a bible – a word or two in the bible is for me, she echoes…

Room scented with sea, woods, coconut oil, eucalyptus and basil

A lotto ticket to set me up for life (her farewell and a surprise gift)

“If I won,” she always said, “I would let you decide what to do with the money”

We had laughed and discussed the possibilities

On the bed, an italic old-style farewell, handwritten in a very neat prose, mixing pidgin and dialect –

“Pawi – my child, I will miss being here…”

My mother was in a plane and gone

Twelve months threaded colourful bilums, gardens, and stories,

bringing me back to the first ten years of my life.

An assortment of brown hue – sculptured gum branches stacked for winter’s fires

Through the window, her many familiar artwork marked my surroundings, reminding me of her even bossy ways

-purple and green kaukau leaves sitting neatly on mounds

“You have sweet potatoes for winter”, her voice reminds me.

The large elephant leaves of pumpkin spreads and sprout golden flowers – a promise for more food.

But, I miss her telling me her stories.

Freda Kauc mobile phone bags.

See below some of my mother’s creations. All her bilums featured here were sold before she left Brisbane for Papua New Guinea. If anyone is interested to purchase my mother’s bags – please write to: joycelinleahy@gmail.com

Freda Kauc bilum – handbag.
Freda Kauc handbag and mobile phone bag.

 

Freda


IMG_8591
Freda, watercolour. JLeahy. January, 2015.

I have been painting “Josephine”, the woman from my head in watercolours on paper.

With several layers of pigment on heavy paper, she has taken some time to surface.  In almost three weeks, and working with three other artwork at the same time, I took no notice of how she was looking. I knew “Josephine” was due to finish soon.

My sons had been away south. My younger son returned today and wanted to see what I had been up to. I showed him the gardens, told him about the chickens, the paper thief, and how my blog was going. He could see I had been painting. As usual, he went through my paintings, telling me which ones he liked. When he saw “Josephine”, he asked me if I was painting “Bubu”. Bubu is a shortened Motuan (Papua New Guinea) word for grandmother/father. Chris was referring to my mother, Freda.

I laughed. Chris was right. This woman in the painting is what my mother looked like in her younger days. Apart from her hair, most of Freda’s looks have not changed much over the years, so much so, my 16-year-old recognised her. I had not realised Josephine’s resemblance to my mother before.

How did I paint my mother without knowing? (Maybe, I miss her).