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Sunday, 14 December 2008

Thaumaturgic Protection for a Turkman Boy


A similar garment in The Britsh Museum


Seven tents gave seven of their finest
cloths, and chose from sempstresses those souls who,
skilled both in the occult and with thread, knew
best their ancient lore, and were the most blest
of the tribe. Once seamed, the guardian vest
received their magic signs to see him through
life's ills: their bells, coins, cowrie shells and blue-
as-azure tokens of their love - for zest
and health in all he'd do. The hem, unstitched,
hung free to propagate the tribal line.

Today, the boy might think his coat bewitched,
kept safe by our much stranger science: nine
red eyes, those modern talismans of ours,
protect the old protector's ancient powers.

21 comments:

Shadow said...

signs to see you through life??? i want one!

The Weaver of Grass said...

This garment is a work of art Dave - so much thought and so much history and folklore goes into the making of such garments. I have a book about amulets, written by Sheila Paine - there is so much folklore involved in them too. Being interested in textiles and textile art makes this sort of picture a joy to me. Thanks.

Dave King said...

Shadow
Don't we all!

Weaver of Grass
I agree. I find the whole subject fascinating.

Lucas said...

This is a fine meditation on what is real. Your poem takes the reader into a new or old world where symbolic and real are not separate.
I like the couplet you have closed on and admire the sonnet's natural flow.

Dave King said...

Lucas

I read the story of this vest quite some time ago. It fascinated me and its been hovering around the old grey matter ever since. I thought it was time to give it a run. Thanks for the comments.

J. C. said...

Simply beautiful, that's all I would say.

Dave King said...

J.C.
What more could I ask? Thanks for calling.

maeve63 said...

Very nice poem Dave!

Linda Sue said...

Yet another one of your gems to cause me to calm down and allow it to overtake my silly busy monkey mind..Thank you for that. I am a fiber artist, I understand the power of this garment, the power of your poem, the validated art of the weaver's blessing.

watermaid said...

There's such power in garments - the Emperor's new clothes, Joseph's coat of many colours. This poem appeals to something deep in my unconscious.

willow said...

I love this bit, "The hem unstitched,
hung free to propagate the tribal line."

Wonderful poem.

Conda V. Douglas said...

Excellent, imaginative idea for a poem, Dave. And superb imagery and alliteration. A haunting pleasure to read.

Sweet Talking Guy.. said...

And the propagation continues as you weave the magic of the written word and pass it on to us. Wonderful!

Cloudia said...

Fascinating, Dave! Aloha-

Mistlethrush said...

Lovely description.
And nine red eyes (security cameras?) is a thoughtful twist at the end. Well done.

Dave King said...

Maeve63
Thanks for that.

Linda Sue
Many thanks for the feedback. Fibre artist conjures up all manner of images in my mind.

Watermaid
I am sure you are right about that: there is a connection at some deep level.

Conda
Thanks Conda. Your comments are very much appreciated.

Sweet Talking Guy
A clever comment. for which much thanks.

Cloudia
All feedback gratefully received.


Mistlethrush
Yes, security cameras, intruder alarms, etc.

Lucy said...

It's wonderful, such a fascinating flight into another place, and back.

Dave King said...

Lucy
Yes, that's very much how it struck me. It conjures up all sorts of fabulous scenes, beliefs and ways of life. Sometimes through such an object there can be a sort of vicarious sharing in that life.

swiss said...

i rather like this dave. read it a few times now and tho blue-as-azure i'm finding a bit clunky i'm finding new things each time!

High Desert Diva said...

This is quite charming...especially the last line re: the unstitched hem.


Thank you so much for your comments on my blog!

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