Seeing the Work

{The irregularities, either in drawing or coloring,

to be observed in almost every Oriental carpet,

and invariably in Turkoman carpets,

are seldom accidental . . . .

—Sir George Birdwood, Industrial Arts of India}


An ancient rug from far-off Turkestan,

Its lustrous wool a nomad house of prayer,

Hangs luminously in the quiet air

Where I weave words.  When the bedraggled clan

Of my thoughts faints like some lost caravan,

It often finds a sweet oasis there.

My wandering eye, before I am aware,

Rests softly where the skillful maker’s plan

Seems all awry:  A border incomplete,

A flower which has wandered from its place,

A leaf where whitest silk seems indiscreet.

Seeing the work (but not the weaver’s face),

I feel the love which knows no sound so sweet

As new-born imperfection’s cry for grace.