(Poem) Sardinia's treasures by Susan Hawthorne

Figure 1 Three breasted baetyls.

In January 2014 I visited Sardinia because I had been reading about the extraordinary archaeological richness of the island. There are Paleolithic, Megalithic and Bronze Age treasures – of the last the most spectacular being the nuraghe, stone towers built without mortar – and on Sardinia I also stumbled across those marvellous baetyls, small breasted sacred stones.

I am fascinated by our stone and rock heritage all around the world and Sardinia is one of those places that has seen many cultures pass through from prehistory right up to the present.

This poem, about the travels of Agnese and Lupa (lamb and wolf), picks up on those histories. Lupa, the she-wolf is speaking at the beginning.

 

nuraghe

 

Agnese and I wander

turn full circle

stare at the megalithic words

breasted baetyls and sickled menhirs

rocks piled in poetic structures

 

we walk hand in hand

between the lines

disappear behind towering boulders

put our ears to the rocks

listen to the songs

 

the breath of an iynx says Agnese

a wryneck flies between us

all a-hum

creation’s breath

labyrinthine myths stories

 

we tread winding paths

a wall a dead end

spiralling through intangible space

retracing we find other pathways

different tales tucked into crevices

Figure 2 Inside a nuraghe looking towards the sky.

here a spinner

here a songster

stories buried by rockfall

by the passage of wind

and time

 

here walks the old one

a colossal stone

precariously balanced

like a spindle on her head

she walks and knits

 

purl one plain one

stories cleave in Sardinia

Scotland Malta

where giants built

mother-daughter temples

 

in Sardinia

words stream down

towering nuraghe

coalesce in swarms

of uncried tears

Figure 3 Nuraghe on the Sardinian plain.

nuraghe: stone tower

baetyl: Greek: baetylus or baetulus: a sacred stone or pillar

iynx: Greek: wryneck (bird, woodpecker: Jynx torquilla

 

This poem was first published in my book, Lupa and Lamb (2014) http://www.spinifexpress.com.au/Bookstore/book/id=268/

(Meet Mago Contributor) Susan Hawthorne.