The Knitter

Background: When you’re in the habit of scribbling verses, it sometimes surprises you where the ideas come from. One night, dreaming by the fire, my pipe in my mouth, Margaret was sitting in the other chair knitting a Fair lsle jumper and my imagination began to run riot, looking at the fire and then glancing at Margaret. We weren’t speaking much because I was dreaming and she was knitting. Anyway this was what came out of that.

The Knitter

Three nights it came in sleep, that vision clear
Three nights!, each ticking second seemed a year.
Three nights as she with silent needles plied
And wove a shapeless garment, rainbow pied.
“What knittest thou?”, but she, unheeding, heard
Nor lifted eye intent on ghostly cord.
Again, “What knittest?” as the words arose
On ashen lips, in fear the question froze.

Mine eyes beheld – or was it Devil’s ploy
With sleeping brain his unresisting toy.
Mine eyes beheld in stark sun-piercing light
The rubrics of Eternal’s timeless rite.
That forming robe was form’d not with fleece
Shorn from the lamb, symbolical to peace.
Lo! she, with some infernal magic rife,
Entwined her needles with my passing life.

John Mallaghan