Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Win Win

I've been invited to participate in the Melbourne Scarf Festival as a poet/writer. There's a reading @ Collected Works Bookshop, Nicholas Building, Swanston Street on Saturday 2 July between 3 - 4pm. Kris Hemensley, bookshop proprietor and fellow poet is also reading. Prior to that I'm attending a knit in with Polly, fellow knitter. What a fantastic way to combine my passions!

Here's a sneak preview of the reading:

Ode to a Scarf

O scarf, wrapping my throat in tenderness
framing my face in the colours not on offer
this bleak workday
the train cancelled the students bitching their poems locked
behind stone faces all of us awake too early
I wear you huddled close to my mouth
so my harsh words catch in your stitchery
puff there outraged but harmless
little breaths of cold tangled in last year's bargain yarn.

My son is knitting one - oatmeal and thick as porridge.
He knits ten rows each year he remembers.
My daughter gave up on hers - I finished it -
slubbed blue silk she throws over op shop tops
a true prima donna but beautiful.
I lost a metre of navy moss stitch
at a tram stop once and didn't grieve -
that marriage was over.

Oh blues scarf wrapping up sadness,
grandopera scarf accepting another ovation
jazz scarf, a throaty whisper of seduction
sad girl singer scarves worn like bruises
heartbroken boy singer scarves worn like nooses
pop scarves disco glitter and fake feathers
life music scarves in every lost property office
cursed but not mourned
wedding march scarves danced
and binding forever
or until vows unravel
lullaby scarves tied on a hip
heavy with sleep.

Friend, for the final journey
shawl me in sturdy shetland
as long as love itself
so I have something to send back
with the ferryman.

Catherine Bateson 2005
Please note that this is copyright and you must request permission from the poet to reproduce it.

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