Saturday, 22 March 2008

Girl, crocheting

Leashes stretch from her hands in ruddy colours.
Head bent she takes stabs at a flaggy fleece,
pricks and probes.

She wields a small metallic rod,
curled at one end,
miniature bill blunted for girls’ hands.

Despite her attempts to subdue
a mangled triangle grows slowly.
Its twin stains the floor.

The eyeless needle delves in, pulls out.
Between her fingers trail
thin ribbons, bloodless arteries.

Clammy hands drag loop through loop,
stitch curly hieroglyphs, each row
a protocol of checks and curbs.

From patterns written in a secret alphabet
she casts spells beyond her years:
chain, cross, lover’s knot.

In time stray threads ensnare and enmesh,
cast snakes down her lap,
ripples on floor.

Reds, pinks and blues entwine -
her heart in her hands
contracts and expands.

Every stitch unties a knot.


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edgesofvision said...

This is a magical little poem Marjojo. Quite mysterious at times. If I were in your poetry group I’d tell you how much I like the wordplay between ‘mangled’ and ‘triangle’. I can imagine this triangle of wool growing, but I’m wondering why the girl would want to subdue its growth? And, ‘Its twin stains the floor’ – could this be a shadow? You poets tease us with your words. Lines I think special are, ‘each row a protocol of checks and curbs’, and ‘her heart in her hands contracts and expands’. And the last line. ‘Every stitch unties a knot’, now that’s a bit of a mystery to me. I like mysteries, so I’m off to do some pondering on this. Thankyou. Go easy on the chocs. Oh, go on then :)

lasuza said...

mmm, every stitch unties a knot - tension releasing - binding and opening - i am very interested by this poem - themes that are close to my heart -
thanks so much for your comment on my blog marjojo - i really appreciated it - i wrote you a longer reply in my comments - be well and keep writing your beautiful poems

cally said...

sigh...i messed up and deleted my comment by accident, i think. it said something along the lines of ..."your words untying knots as well, i suspect". sucha beautiful poem.

i'm really enjoying that your poetry has so much to do with your being and artist also, and specifically working with fibre. as i lie here, willing myself to crochet again (but not having the arm strength) i feel like i am reading something about myself. often true of your writing, but somehow truer than ever in this poem.

redredday said...

hey there :). finally i am here! i've been reading what you have here and realized that i needed to print it out and read it in a more clearer space. the imagery altogether is quite packed and dense visually. when i stop to take in each passage/stanza individually, i am able to take it in more fully and appreciate the writing more. it is all very well-written and i could sense the thought and care put into each word chosen. but somehow, for me, the feeling connecting with the imagery seems very removed, detached somewhere. but perhaps, that is the point too since i imagine when crocheting, one gets into that methodical/meditative state of mind? i don't know. i'm torn between the words that i am drawn to ('mangled', 'twin stains', 'thin', 'bloodless', 'clammy', 'loops', 'ripples', 'heart in...hands', etc) but given all of it together, stanza after stanza, they are not really speaking to me. but if each stanza was a poem on its own, then it becomes clearer with more space to expand and does not feel so heavy of words and words, imagery after imagery. my mind wants to linger longer on the twin staining the floor before having to jump back to the needle and fingers. i love that stanza of the mangled triangle and emerging of the twin. wish for more of it. and also particularly love the one about the secret alphabet and the lover's knot. just beautiful as it is.

Marjojo said...

I’m so behind with answering to comments… Poetry course is on Easter break, so I posted my poem here, as ever craving feedback. Thanks to you all, as usual I’m delighted to hear your views, although ‘camera digital’ seems to be about something else.
It is well possible that I tried too much with this poem, for a beginner I’m probably way too ambitious, wanting to talk about issues that are close to my heart, all at the same time. What was wonderful was that I could chose my theme and go with it, and try to tie together my visual art pursuits with my poetry-attempts. I concentrated very much on getting the imagery right, but think altogether it doesn’t flow as it should. Don’t know how to make it flow, really (as yet). For me of course every stanza makes perfect sense and together they make sense too, they follow a thread in my brain, but it’s maybe meandering too much or too obscure. Tied myself in knots here, instead of untieing them. Interesting, Mien, that you thought the feeling was removed from the imagery, I did try to control it, thought it was seeping out at the edges as it were, but maybe controlled too much. You live and learn… (my new motto). Feedback helps me think the poem through anew, so thank you so much again. There's nothing wore than to be greeted with just silence.