Strands of Time
The fabric of the universe is shredded.
As clouds unravel, grass and sky are torn
to tattered rags that catch on brush and thorn,
and down is up; we don't know where we're headed.
We thought that warp and weft were both embedded
in cloth we wove to warm, protect, adorn...
But fibers fray when twine is stretched and worn
and seams will rip when patches come unthreaded.
When threads are pulled, a cobweb sways and flaps,
a bird's nest thins and twists, a blanket sags,
but missing threads don't cause complete collapse
and much can still be made from salvaged rags.
The finest quilts are pieced from tiny scraps
and fabric shreds may serve as prayer flags.
2. Tangled Filaments
The air is heavy, skies are overcast
with clouds like skeins of yarn, a mottled gray
that tumbled from some attic, just the way
that memories can spill out of the past
unraveling collections we've amassed
and tangling today and yesterday.
The threads of recollection snap and fray;
though this is natural, we feel aghast.
We tie the strands of concentration fast,
repeating the same old stories to allay
our fears, and force remembrances to stay.
We hang on tight, and try to make them last.
No matter what we say, or how we pray
to cling to webs of time, they drift and stray.
3. Learning to Tie the Knots
The women knot the crimson rugs by hand,
backs bent forward, hunched against the ache
of fingers cramped from tying strand to strand.
Even the thinnest threads will never break
once they're linked together; weavers make
connections using more than fragile twine.
Following old patterns, it will take
weary years to finish one design.
And when the women's fingers turn to ash,
the carpets that they wove will warm the floors,
cushion children's footprints as they dash
carelessly along soft corridors,
support the babies crawling on all fours,
and leave us works of art to walk upon.
Some tasks we do in life are more than chores;
the threads we knot stay tied when we are gone.