Saturday, 10 March 2012
11th March 2011 . . . Such a hideous day! . . . I woke up, switched on the radio and heard the news . . . the terrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan. I thought at once of all my friends there. So many beautiful people I loved and cared about! . . . for the next few days, when I wasn't at my day-job, I was in front of the computer doing whatever I could from the other side of the planet with so few facilities, trying to contact and find people, passing on messages, doing whatever I could to support my friends . . . Such a strange and intense few days . . .
On Tuesday the 15th, I'd booked a day off from work to go to the Birmingham Rag Market to get things for costume-making. I wasn't sure whether I should go or not, but at that stage everybody that I knew was OK, and there didn't seem much else that I could do that would be of use to anyone. So I went to Birmingham.
When I was there in the Rag Market, surrounded by all those gorgeous fabrics, braids, lace and jewellery, I suddenly remembered that one of my Facebook friends, the beautiful cross-dressing singer with a goth band, had been intending to spend that week making a new costume . . . And suddenly it felt so horrible and wrong that I could enjoy myself like this when so many of my friends were in that hideous situation . . . I started to get emotional, left the market, sat down in a cafe and wrote a poem for my friend, and for all my Japanese friends, and for Japan . . .
The Needle Spell
In black lace you should be dressed now
in gauzy veils of oil-dark blue
with pearls drawn from the sullen depths
of the indifferent ocean entwined in your dark hair.
These are the best adornments for a cruel season,
suiting the moment's melancholy and your dark beauty.
Until I hear your voice again, my needle will sew an incantation
to bind the damaged hopes of broken springtime.
I cast a spell in silk, in quick sharp stitches,
thinking of you as I sew and pouring my thoughts into a new design.
All of my unheard words are uttered in silence
as the needle draws its thread to mend, renew and make.
This is my woven spell as strong as cobweb.
In my mind I see you dressed as you should be,
in black lace, gauze, and pearls from the loveless sea.