Unfastened

Anita Patel

Sometimes we need to leave 
the poem behind…
and wander among shelves of soft yarn —
sea blue and grass green, burnt gold 
as autumn leaves, yellow as lemon peel,
all the tints of a pigeon’s neck —
it’s good to take home a bag of light
and shadow — to hold skeins of twilight, 
rose and lilac — make tea and sit 
with a friend (or alone), unfastened
from the mystery of our own hands as
needles and hook turn thread 
to cloth…  



During the period of isolation last autumn and winter, I found that I could not always write my way out of anxiety. I needed to let go of words, thoughts, stories and memories— and to wrap myself in the cosy certainty of coloured wool. I shut down my computer, put away my pen and started to make blankets for my grandchildren.  Balls of glowing wool and a crochet hook soothed my troubled heart and calmed my agitated mind.

Anita Patel’s collection of poetry, A Common Garment (Recent Work Press), was published in 2019. Her work also appears in publications such as: Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Mascara Literary Review, Cordite Poetry Review, Backstory Journal, Plumwood Mountain Journal, Eucalypt: a tanka journal, The Blue Nib Literary Magazine and in Australian Poetry Anthology Vol. 8.

Her poem “Women’s Talk” won the ACT Writers Centre Poetry Prize in 2004 and her poetry was selected for and published in Australian Book Review’s States of Poetry ACT, 2018.

She was the guest editor for Issue 2 of Not Very Quiet Journal

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