March Prompts #5: YARN


March Prompt #5

(Especially for Maggie)

Not far from here in place or time,

there is, in a closet, a box.

A perfect place for mice


with yarns of purple, blue, and green,

too many colors to name.

Soft yarns, striped ones, sparkling ones,


neat in balls and skeins,

stacked by size in pleasing array.

But late at night—when else?—


when the woman of the house is asleep,

they come. Not mice because of cats,

but Tanglers,


a tribe of tiny folk. Who knows

where they live in the day?

Their work is simple.


By sunrise the box is a mare’s nest,

a gallimaufry, salmagundi.

The Tanglers will not be distracted


by good seeds to sort from bad.

Bowls of milk left for them would be

drunk anyway by cats, tiny garments ignored.


Oh, to have the focus of a Tangler,

a single-minded dedication to a task.

Any task at all.

The Penultimate April Prompt

April Prompt #29

Janice’s #4: Black sheep of the family




Leftovers from mittenwork:

red, purple, orange, green.

Brown tweed, midnight blue,

pale blue, marled blue ends

of sweaterings for son, daughter-in-law,

and the small dog.

Soft green slub for the baby.


Two full skeins of self-striping.

Five skeins of fine sock yarn

colored like semi-precious stones:

aquamarine, amethyst, lapis lazuli.

Strange yarns for bead crochet:

metallic silver, twisted yellow,

variegated miseries.


Two skeins of homespun:

one that mother spun from the wool

of the sheep that she and dad

kept awhile, one coarse and thick

that I spun from a greasy fleece

and the hair of a dog I loved

back when I thought I could do anything.


I cannot count the times
I have knitted and ripped this pattern.
Always something amiss:
I purled in the front of the stitch
or forgot to increase at each end
or cabled in the back
or counted wrong

and here I am again:
snarl of bright purple plies
separated and ragged
from overwork, tangle
that in my frustration I did
not rewind as I ripped.  Every good
knitter is a good ripper, my teacher

told me, but there comes a time
when the only thing to do
is cut away the frayed and grubby
mess and admit that it was wrong
from the beginning:  gauge too tight,
bad color, unbecoming shape, the design
too complex for anything I know.