It’s my current obsession – wool and knitting. (My favourite wool shop was closed over Christmas and I had one of those moments when I knew what it felt like for an addict who was jonesing for a fix, anxious that their supply might run out!) My husband has several scarves, as do friends (one kindly refers to hers as a talisman), and relatives, even some of the guys at the prison. I weave wishes in with the stitches, so I am sort of the knitting fairy godmother. But also, this is old, almost ancestral activity. With the Festival of Brigit about two weeks away, I am reminded that one the the goddess Brighid’s oldest symbols, according to Mary Condren, is the weaver’s beam. Surely Brighid’s girdle would have been woven, or knitted. Today’s Poetry Daily is a a Venn diagram of my two favourite activities at the moment – knitting and poetry making.
First, there were the animals -
the yak, the goat, the sheep -
who gave to us their fleece to keep.
Then the wheel, then the spindle,
then the weaver's beam
like some sovereign's sceptre gleaming.
A loom is a wide horizon,
it is a carpet flying
wings made from pieces of string.
Take two sticks, of wood or bone,
and with some thread
warmth and comfort will spread.
First, by the animal's very breath,
their spare coat spun by spinner's sinew
working wheel's treadle of ancient yew,
spinning the thread, dying it, too,
working its warp and weft
using muscle and fingers deft.
Knit and weave and mend.
What is broken shall first be warmed.
Weaver's crooning breath will also transform
any cold, broken thing back into
a single piece, even a new limb.
Weaver's know the how of new paradigm.
Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved