Cone Dweller: A New Poem By Daisy Beattie

Words by
Daisy Beattie
| October 22, 2014

The Planthunter’s resident poet, Daisy Beattie, has written another beautiful original poem for us! Inspired by spending a month in a cave house in Cappadocia in Turkey, she writes of women, weaving, landscape and stories.. Illustrated by images from old National Geographic magazines, its a wonderful read. 

This past month I have been housesitting one of the cave homes of Cappadocia, Turkey. While living here I have seen such moon-like landscapes; pink badlands filled with desert vegetation, paths carved into the grass from wanderings, and grapes cultivated in the valleys of conical homes. Although weaving has largely died out in this region, it’s presence remains, it’s landscape is readable in the antique kilims and carpets that survive.

Cone Dweller

The women here used to take the green
out of leaves and weave it into their carpets.
The green threads are sorrowful as earth lullabies,
voices are knotted into the little figures.

There are horses the colour of dust
in the vast lunar hollowings, amongst eroded lava,
where the women used to collect grass.
Their days of crushing roots and yoghurt and sap-eating beetles,
days of spindling and sitting at looms,
beat out in the tapping of water against pink stones.

I watch the lines running into each other
in one pattern of flowers and stars.
She wove what was outside her window,
goats and flowers,
and the goats and wildflowers that ran in her head,
the stars that replicate.
It is the pattern that her mother taught her
but the colours are hers.

The stars spread like pollen.
Safflower and madder root,
tea and tobacco, lichen of dying trees,
she kept collections of her landscape, just the colours.
The green of walnut leaves stains my eyes
and in my head there are threads and roots and silkworms
and women’s hands stringing their earth songs
into my body.

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