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September 27, 2012

Blank village walls
and the trickle of lives squeezed
by government edict –
Greeks packaged
Turks returned.


One hundred years on, this hillside
hangs silent, roofs collapsing histories
above the fertile valley,
paneless windows gaping
and aghast, pining

hands that crafted wooden
shutters against this strident glare;
artisan fingers, nimble, at peace

until a muted exodus, exchanging
morning glory for the boats at Makri.

When winter rains from the high
Taurus have loosed stones
and cyclamen bursts
cobbles scarlet,

ghosting sadness wafts,
peeling frescoes
where figs should fall abundant
and pomegranates
once promised spring.


Kayaköy in SW Turkey, is a deserted village, formerly settled by Greeks and Turks. After the Greco-Turkish War, Kayaköy was largely abandoned after a population exchange agreement was signed by the Turkish and Greek governments in 1923.


Linking to the Tuesday night round the world poetry read that is Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub

From → Uncategorized

  1. Great descriptive passages… atmospheric to say the least. You are such a treasure. Did I find you? That would be an arrogant assumption. You found poetry. I watched, wide-eyed.

  2. (found poetry-writing, I meant, of course)

    • haha.. of course 🙂 I’m happy to agree… you asked the poetry question at just the right time, Luke, for that I’m enduringly grateful. FEPC was a spectacular place to learn, a space to try out voices and structures, forms and meters… all wonderful.

      Thanks, for it all, and great to hear your views on this one too.

      • You are entirely, utterly, completely, fully-even-if-I-am-redundantly welcome

  3. very cool descriptives becky…you really captured the heart of it..where figs should fall abundant
    and pomegranates
    once promised spring…..oh i wish there was a second chance for the town and the people…so sad with the paneless windows…gaping much emptiness where once was life..

  4. it has to be a rather haunted place…where life once lived…and life could again in the poms and figs…the windows just another symbol of the emptiness now….

  5. Hi, I like the muted exodus xchanging a flower for a boat. Your banner/headline is nice too!

  6. Great history lesson — and images universal for deserted towns

  7. hedgewitch permalink

    This poem manages to deal with a serious political/human theme and yet remains so descriptive and lyrical that it could just be a poem of place..that is, place and past are interwoven, and both are presented extremely effectively. Enjoyed it much, especially the cyclamen bursting cobblestones..very vivid image.

  8. brilliant ! – as ever, hedge says it best . . . but you know
    i think this subject is awesome and the poetry didnt have to be . . .


    it is! 🙂

  9. Thanks, everyone… all your comments mean so much to me. I’ve been travelling and have been offline for a while, lovely to come back to read your words.

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