Turkish Smyrna

 

 

                             This carpet – a Turkish Smyrna –

                             is made with Gordian knots,

                             tied by the fine fingers of a child

                             tied to a loom

                             by a thin, pale leg.

                           Every centimetre – a hundred knot

                            This carpet – two and a half million knots

                             all Gordian

                             tied tightly

                             by the fine fingers of a child.

                             Each thread is dyed

                             with plants

                             picked by nomad hands

                             from shifting lands

                             Henna oranges and Madder reds

                             Saffron yellows and Indigo blues

                             Colours bloom and fade

                             with the change of seasons.

                             Patterns are centuries old,

                             never drawn or sketched,

                             only sung to the young

                             by the old blind weavers,

                             who walk the workshops

                             and the aisles of looms.

                             In this shadow world

                             of soured and fetid air

                             dreamless children

                             live threadbare under a black sun.

                             Wide borders holding everything in place

                             no figures or stories, just a labyrinth

                             of abstract shape and colour

                             drawing you in to the treasure

                             at the centre of the rug.

                             And the knowledge of the knots

                             the Gordion knots

                             tied by the fine fingers of a child

                             tied to a loom

                             by a thin, pale leg.

©M.L.Emmett

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