The Silvery Needles

My needles caress each other

leading on coloured threads.

a hobby, my fate or some curse?

I let the perceived role

of the woman decide?


A tool, a slave, a toy

Is that my worth?

From where do my answers come?

Ancient tradition or modern change?


Ancient tradition bequeathed me roles;

Roles I humbly bore

with no clenched teeth

beneath my sweaty brow.

Modern change came, saw and took me

to the mountain side;

Transporting me to a troubled present

from where I look and ask-

was I a tool, a slave, a toy?


Career woman, intellectual woman.

Man’s threat, this enfant terrible

challenging and destroying

the sculptured status quo.


Your time is ripe but thread softly.

Remember your needles,

your silky threads.

What to do with them I will not say

but remember…

Remember them.

20 thoughts on “The Silvery Needles” by chemokopi (@chemokopi)

  1. I don’t know what this means. A woman? A Needle?

  2. Concentrate on your knitting. Needles can be sharp.
    Let role players stick to their roles.

    I like the poem, but I don’t like feminists. Dem dey spoil runs!

    1. @kaycee: lol! You no like feminists abi? You know like as dem no go gree you wear ‘GCOF’ (Grand Commander Order of the Family) for neck abi?

      I was trying to express what I feel about the dilemma feminists, femininism and women emancipation/gender equality activists face while fighting for their cause. They all seem to be in a catch-22 situation.

  3. I ditto @seun. Didn’t understand.

  4. @Seun, @Eletrika: Your answer lies partly in kaycee’s comment. Eletrika, I am surprised you did’t understand O! You have never knitted? Na woman you be O! *just teasing*

  5. Chemo,it’s a nice poem on an important subject.You are right that women have to juggle a lot of different things.I do sew and knit and raise children and I also work and make decisions about my life.I do think that there shouldn’t be a conflict between wanting to do what women have done since the beginning of times,like sewing and knitting, and take charge of what they want to do with their life.

  6. @Jefsaraurmax: Wow. I really admire your strength and will to combine tradition and modernity-more grease to those elbows! It is truly not easy!

    The issue is a complex one and I think the way it is being addressed in this day is worrisome. There were clear-cut roles in those days, even though some were undeniably oppressive for women. In this day, a lot of roles have been tampered with or totally abandoned; but the question remains how those abandoned are being substituted. I believe it is the lack of clear-cut replacements of abandoned traditional roles and proper sharing of roles that are leading to the present friction as expressed in high-divorce rates, wayward kids. etc.

    Thanks for your input! Much appreciated!

  7. Okay. I understand it better now. Women and roles, abi? Hmmm…….it’s not easy at all. But really, we shouldn’t neglect our roles just because we want to crack heads with the men. I tell you, we can still be where we are and make strong impacts in the world. Although sometimes we do what we do because we feel we’re being cheated and we don’t want to take that. But, actually, does it really solve the problem? Sometimes, we end up getting into even worse problems. I tell you, we’ll always own the men. T just take little*winks* strategies.

    1. @Eletrika: Hahahaha.

      Strategies like the famed fattening room lessons of Calabar women abi?

      I am too sure there is power there *returns wink*

  8. “Remember your needles,

    your silky threads.

    What to do with them I will not say”

    Sew her mouth? Was that what you had in mind? :)

    A tool – Maybe.
    A toy – Depending on how you look at it.
    A slave – Definitely not…there is no such thing as a willing slave.

    Beautifully crafted.
    Well done, Chemo!

    1. @Rhema: I am so laughing out loud! I am not that evil O! Sew her mouth ke?

      Thanks. You are too kind.

  9. Okay, just got it better with your comment, seemed a little confusing at first, interesting opinion you ve got

  10. Thanks Anderson.

  11. Nice poem.I hope you mean women pull the strings behind men.women could be toys if they want but a slave,no way.

    1. @Khadijah: Thanks.

      If you notice, in the poem their were a lot of questions; they have to do with the dilemma of what the role of the woman was before vis-a-vis what it is no and how she views/manages this dichotomy.

      They are just questions and musings; it is women themselves that would provide us answers.

  12. You’ve painted a true picture here, chemokopi. And we’re still asking these questions.

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting @febidel. Your words are true.

  13. I enjoyed this poem @chemokopi.
    I read the work of Saba Mahmood a few years back. She wrote about religion, feminism and gender roles. About the Women’s Mosque Movement in Egypt and their interpretation of feminism. A pious version, not the secular feminism (as she said).
    What she was trying to say is women can be feminists who observe their roles within their families/societies, be religious, political et al.
    I think we (women) can achieve quite a lot these days. As long as the home is not neglected (that is the job of both parents though) because these days children’s needs are suffering because mothers and fathers are too busy making money. Marriages are breaking down too because of this.
    Sorry for going on and on…….lol.
    I should have just said ‘good job’ but your works are always so inspiring, it is hard to stay quiet.

    1. @olajumoke: Awww…thanks for this insightful addition to the discussion. Not a ramble at all!

      I agree very much with all you have said. Life is really a contextual experience. The setting we are born in has a huge impact on how our lives turn out, the current speed of global cultural exchange notwithstanding.

      Thanks for your kind words!

  14. @chemokopi I enjoyed this……………..

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