Text 5 (July 25th) – Find an object in your house that is connected to how you have spent some of your time during lockdown. (Maybe you started a new hobby or did something you had put off for years, or threw yourself into the garden). Use this as a prompt to write with a paper and pen. Just write whatever comes into your head. Stop after ten minutes. Cut what you have written up line by line. Throw these in the air. Randomly reassemble them. Add / subtract some words if you wish. Move things around if you wish. Sellotape it together. You’ve got a poem.
Amongst the many different objects found, during this Covid19 lockdown period,
Was a patchwork quilt.
I decided to use some of the bits of material, found when clearing Mum’s house.
After her death.
Some future, long dreamed of, sewing project, she’d saved in the cupboard,
To use, for the beauty of its variety, shining through.
Random knots of loose cotton, seen when cutting round the templates of card,
Made from old cereal boxes, cornflake packets.
Those childhood summers and winters, treasured times when we sewed together.
All having memories attached to them.
The ‘right’ side, itself looks perfect, hexagonal scraps from my childhood dresses.
Skirts Mum made, for me and my little sister.
This half finished, patchwork project.
A variety of designs, types of material,
No pattern emerges, all randomness and difference.
Now look at the ‘wrong’ side, messy threads and rough edges, of separate scraps
Mum finally ran out of days in her life, to finish it.
Her skill with a needle, showing up my poor attempt, to copy it.
But that’s just as it was meant to be……
I’ve never seen artichoke in Tesco.
Harrison’s don’t have plants, only seeds.
I’ve never grown an artichoke.
Sarah says they make a stunning plant,
And she has the recipe.
Rhubarb Farm grow them.
Monty says they are easy.
Sow ten seeds, five start to grow.
Long and ornamental leaves,
Spikey fruits appear.
Eight on one plant,
They’re hungry plants.
Two plants survive,
Nearly a metre tall.
Good colour for backdrop in the garden.
I’ve never eaten an artichoke.
What a faff to cook,
Very little is edible, very little to taste.
Will keep the plant.
Artichoke is good on pizza.
Second plant is fruiting now,
Maybe I’ll try asparagus next year.
A Glitch in Time
Loop. Stitch Two Together.
What will this thin thread make?
What purpose this random strip of cotton
With two plastic buttons?
How can this protect?
Each in our own way we serve.
A Surgical mask, a professional.
A tab to hold the mask in place.
Still nimble but older fingers work
To ease those ears from
Elasticated hell. Chaffing,
brutally cutting into delicate flesh.
Help save sore ears on those who serve
at least a ten-hour shift.
A long thread, hand-made, crocheted
by anxious volunteers, infinitely valuable,
desperate to help, making chains as a nation
to fight this new, unknown enemy together.
Throughout the land.
Loop, chain, slip stitch, double, treble.
Makers stay home and serve
wearing earphones and sunglasses
in the Silent Spring, unseasonably warm.
A common thread which binds us all.