Ode to grass-green knitting needles

December 14, 2007 at 7:58 am | Posted in craft tools | 2 Comments
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I wrote a poem about some knitting needles I am quite fond of.  It’s a first draft, so I may (probably) revise it, but I don’t mind sharing it in rough form.  Enjoy!

green grass

Ode to grass-green knitting needles  

It was a dark place where I found these knitting needles,

like a basement heaped with storage boxes and damp,

more full of shadows than my depressive afternoons,

darker than the snow-clogged clouds outside.

Furniture crouched in piles along the walls,

floral couches leaning upside-down on top of plaid ones,

rocking-chairs jabbing runners out in all directions,

out-of-tune pianos clustered, sharing old songs.

I wandered between shelving units, fingering piles of dust

on teapots with missing lids and cracked spouts,

but with elegant patterns in their glaze: an intricate knot,

a gracefully-draped peacock feather, brighter than life.

Nearby, I lifted a woman’s hat adorned with a real feather,

which drooped unhappy, tired.  I propped it up, moved on

between table lamps, wicker baskets, a tandem bicycle,

mugs with coffee stains, flowerpots with dry earth inside,

an ornate pedestal fit for an antique vase in a museum.

I started opening the drawers of a storage cabinet.

Piles of small things rattled together as I explored,

digging with dirty hands, setting aside inexplicable objects,

lumps of ceramic, unfinished needlework on yellow canvas,

bits of cracked plastic, used erasers, unlabelled jars

full of black liquid or paint dried into a disc at the bottom.

In the third drawer down, several sets of knitting needles

rolled around together between scraps of cardboard.

Most were the yellow of old, once-white, off-white, plastic,

bent and crippled, probably brittle, their usefulness spent.

But four of the needles were bright green,

drawing the dim light like blades of living grass.

I gathered them together in my hand, felt their silky surfaces,

the smoothness of their points at either end, not sharp,

but ready to slip easily through loops of thread.

These are the needles that grow warm in my hands,

speeding like athletes, acrobats, as I sit here knitting

amazing things.  An entire jungle of constructed vines,

fruitful and huge, populations of creatures, monkeys

with large eyes and large ears, insects with sweeping antennae,

sturdy trunks of massive trees, all taking shape

as my fingers and the green knitting needles dance.



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  1. you rock!

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