Knitting Time

She sings those star-garments into shape
in her sleep on nights when there is light
enough to birth a new universe.
But now, her melody won’t settle.

Like Lot’s wife she looks back at glass dripping upwards,
hears the movement whisper,
the pane slipping slowly into sand
as echoes yield an unflinching moment.

Inhabiting a raw time, of all tomorrows, yesterdays,
she breathes, but nothing will hold;
and once the terror takes, Hell takes over
with a host of illusions, tenebrous voices
cutting the belly of her self-belief.

And so back to the knitting vessel
carrier of her soul into the living land,
the safe place of cross stitch, cable and twist
where the breath can be measured
just one step, one small step, beyond fear.

by Colin Hambrook

News of an upcoming poetry event: ‘People and Places: a poetry reading at the Albion Beatnik Bookshop’, on Sunday 9 February from 6.00-7.30pm, Walton Street, Oxford. There will be readings by David Attwooll, Kayo Chingonyi, Pey Colborne, Catherine Faulds, Lucy Ingrams, Jenny Lewis, Rachel Piercey, and Lyn Thornton. 

‘Knitting Time’ is copyright © Colin Hambrook, 2013. It is reprinted from Knitting Time by Colin Hambrook (published by Waterloo Press in 2013) by permission of Waterloo Press.

Notes from Waterloo Press:

Knitting Time recounts the author’s experience of growing up in a household dominated by religious beliefs, where the world was scheduled to end in 1975. Hambrook charts his mother’s deterioration after being expelled from the Jehovah’s Witnesses faith, as she descended into psychosis. A series of striking black and white drawings by Hambrook complement the texts, adding extra depth and dimension to this compelling collection. With echoes of William Blake, Ted Hughes, Spike Milligan, and Jeanette Winterson, Knitting Time provides powerful insights into millenarianism, psychosis, and the bonds of love when they are tested by trauma and loss.

Colin Hambrook is a writer, editor and artist. He established DAO in 2004 and continues to develop the journal as a platform giving a voice to arts practitioners who identify with disability and the issues which underpin arts practice from a disability perspective. In 2013 he produced Knitting Time – a project exploring concerns around psychosis – and exhibited the resulting body of work at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester in November 2013. His second illustrated collection Knitting Time, published by Waterloo Press, was one of the bodies of work, which came out of this research and development project. You can follow his work on his blog.

Waterloo Press offers readers an eclectic list of the most stimulating poetry from the UK and abroad. We promote what’s good of its kind, finding a commonality amongst the poets we publish. Our beautifully designed books range from lost modernist classics, translations and vibrant collections by the best British poets around. Our translation list is growing to 25% of our output.

Waterloo Press brings radical and marginalised voices to the fore, mirroring their aesthetics in outstanding book design, including dust jackets; large font; and original artwork. With its growing list, Waterloo Press promotes at last a permeable membrane between contemporary schools, quite apart from archiving a few sacred vessels for good. WP fosters a poetics based on innovation with respect for craft, bloody-mindedness and as founder Sonja Ctvrtecka put it: ‘An elegant unstuffiness – a seagull perched on a Porsche.’  Now the major poetry publisher of the south-east, we also believe strongly in a community of like-minded independent presses. We’ve become a land.

Find out more about Waterloo Press via its website, or ‘like’ the publisher on Facebook.

Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.