Wool Facts by Ian McMillan

1. God threw a ball in the air. 3-ply.
2. Eve tempted Adam with the ball of wool, rammed the needle down the serpent’s throat.
3. ‘My wool pyramid will last ten thousand years!’ said the Pharaoh.
4. The Three Kings brought wool, wool, and wool.
5. ‘Is this The Renaissance?’ they asked, as needles were invented.
6. ‘Watch out for the woolberg!’ cried the Captain of the Titanic.
7. Sign this. Just here. It’s 12.15, it’s Runnymede, the needles are dipped in the best ink.
8. The Wright Brothers knitted furiously in mid-air.
9. ‘Mass produced patterns, Now!’ yelled William Caxton.
10. ‘I may be some time’ said Captain Oates, ‘I’ve left my needles in the glacier.’
11. Columbus turned back, excited, pulling out the continent as he went.
12. Hold this wool, said Eva Braun, as Hitler and Goebbels did the salute together.
13. That’s one small stitch for man, one giant stitch for mankind.
14. Evolution advanced as the caveperson invented the wool.
15. ‘Come in here a minute’ said Alexander Graham Bell down his wool phone. ‘Pardon?’ said his assistant from the next room.
16. The dinosaurs died out slowly, failing to knit thermals fast enough as the ice age approached.
17. Isaac Newton felt nothing as the wool apple bounced off his head. Gravity remained undiscovered for another two hundred years and people flew around like seagulls.
18. They found Custer and all his men wrapped in wool. Dead, but cosy.
19. Henry VIII knitted wives seven and eight. It gave him a feeling of power.
20. Noah’s wool ark floated. No, I tell a lie.
21. Kitchener was waiting to pose for his poster. ‘Hurry up with that moustache’ he shouted to his wife.
22. Jesus turned the water into wool. ‘I’m new at this’ he said.
23. The Mona Lisa was just about to laugh. Those wool vests really tickled.
24. The Sixth Beatle: the one made of wool who didn’t get to the first reahearsal because, being made of wool, he couldn’t open the door to get out of the house.
25. The scientists nodded in triumph. This was the sound of The Big Bang: needles clicking.

Independent On Sunday Poem Of The Week

The Battle Of Balaclava

Rows of us,
Neat rows of us
Standing with the balaclavas ready.

The enemy approached,
Rows of them,
Neat rows of them.
We stood with the balaclavas ready.

I must admit
I was sweating a little
And it wasn’t just the wool in my hands
That was making me sweat,

It was the enemy,
Rows of them,
Neat rows of them.

General Balaclava
then he said
Throw the balaclavas!
Throw them now! ‘

And we threw them.
They flopped through the air
Like small black clouds,
Landed on the floor like dirty puddles.

The enemy stepped over them,

© Ian McMillan 2001

Read: Ian McMillan – The Shed Poems