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Mulberries at Mustafapasha

November 25, 2012

When I stood under mulberries, hearing
rhymes and histories in the August shade,

I saw only a yellow ochre mansion,
buttery paint flaking to blue patches
of fresh-rinsed sky,

heard hoarse frescoes stir beneath
glossy leaves, chiaroscuro lattice swaying
dapples across the sun-bleached wall.

Sure as tomorrow and tomorrow
I smelt slow-boiled coffee, dark
and thick as treacle,

and, on warm-grained wood, felt
merchants’ palms, dry from dealing
salted fish and caviar, planting vines

to coil these steps, grapes
to cool a daughter’s parching throat,
faith that sons, and yet again sons

would cross the threshold,
look up for movement
at the ogee arch

knowing mulberries would
drop,

++++++white splashes
++++++in the bone grey dust of Sinassos.

Sinassos was the name of a Greek Orthodox Village in the central Turkish region of Capadoccia, renamed Mustafapasa at the time of the Turkish-Greek population exchange of 1924.

……………

Up for another Tuesday night round the world poetry read that is Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub http://dversepoets.com/

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24 Comments
  1. beautiful becky, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful

  2. 1emeraldcity permalink

    Love the colors and textures!

  3. I can always count on your words whisking me away from my doldrums…this was no exception, and my feet are itching to run. Fantastic assault on the senses, fantastic writing…

  4. this is just full of scent and taste and thick with atmosphere…lovely..

  5. absolutely divine, Becky… love all the textures, aromas…

  6. ‘fresh-rinsed sky’.. v pretty. But the colours have it

  7. Such a sense of loss in the walls of these houses. Whispers of the past. Beautifully sad. Beautifully expressed.

    • Cressida – I very happy to hear you felt a sense of loss .. was a central part of the atmosphere and meaning I was going for.

  8. There’s a potent sense of time and place within these striking metaphors. Excellent piece!

  9. wow …love all the texture…the wood grain of the floor…the frescoes….you paint it vivid in your words becky….even the bone dust there in the end….nice…

  10. Fun images in the photo and the poem

    Question:

    “smelt slow-boiled coffee” or “smelled” ? dialect?

    Funny thing about poetry, every one assumes typos are poetry and should never be questioned. And they could be intentional.

    • Thanks, Sabio.. and no probs on the question. In British English smelt is an alternative past participle to smelled.

  11. this made me think of bush – lol – hi def PO becky – sensation packed
    with energy holding story 🙂

  12. Even had I not seen the image, I was able to picture the scene so well. Such excellent word-painting, Becky. I might suggest putting the photo at the end of the photo to allow the readers to conjure up the picture you have created so clearly. And thanks for a bit of sunshine on this gray November day in Nevada! :0)

  13. I like that I see a lot of experimentation on your pages/posts. Sometimes I think it’s a bit too much in effort and it can detract from what you’re writing about but then I remember when I first started shifting words around and also lol I’m still doing it so I don’t think it’s too much, but take a moment
    and soak this one in. I think the placement of the words at the end is awesome, like awe inspiring because it just hammers home that meaning and makes me want to go check out this place and population exchange deal on wikipedia. I think that’s testament to the writing. So, that was the last few lines, all before it was truly lovely and built and built and built- for you to hit that spot.

    I could never write a poem like this. Big ups to you.

  14. i’m grateful for all you’re saying about the experimentation and layering of ideas you find. I know I pack a lot in and that sometimes it’s too much, especially for readers who are in a hurry. That’s why I’m grateful for readers like you who make time to let it build and build…. but that’s not to say I couldn’t make it sharper with a touch of editing. 🙂

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