Monday, April 24, 2017

Charleston City Market

Sweetgrass baskets at Charleston's City Market
Charleston City Market

I finger sterling silver rings,
ponder souvenirs emblazed
with crescent moon and palm tree -

gaze upon Gullah "basket ladies"
coiling bundled sweetgrass and palmetto leaves
'round knots no longer for toil and sweat
but woven mementoes highly sought.

Lift a price tag, raise a brow,
remind myself art isn't always expressed
with oil and brush -

that these "fanners" no longer winnow
rice seed from chaff,
but are modified for fashion and show.

I watch as she hums and smiles,
hands repetitive, competent,
twining biblical bulrush and pine
for style and strength -

weaving a craft dragged from African shores
and a breadbasket for my southern home
to be used with gratitude and awe.

by Margaret Bednar, April 24, 2017

I wrote this poem while oceanside at Isle of Palms.  Wind in my hair, evening sun on the back of my shoulders - toes in the ocean.  Sigh... some people live like this everyday.  I have linked this with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Tuesday Platform"

books about South Carolina Sweetgrass Baskets:

Row Upon Row:  Sea Grass Baskets of the South Carolina Lowcountry  HERE

Sweetgrass Baskets and the Gullah Tradition HERE

Circle Unbroken HERE

A Gullah Guide to Charleston HERE  ( I plan on taking a number of these tours the next time I visit Charleston)  


Sanaa Rizvi said...

I can't even begin to describe how incredibly dreamy this poem is!!❤️ Especially love; "I finger sterling silver rings,ponder souvenirs emblazed
with crescent moon and palm tree."❤️

Anonymous said...

Delightful insight into a craft that has stayed strong.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I can see the African influence in the art of the basket weaving, as such weavers are to be found here too. I always marvel at the craft - such an accomplishment.

Thotpurge said...

A nice visit to the souvenir market!

Cressida de Nova said...

Looks like a good place for a holiday. I checked it out on google.
Markets are great.Love this souvenir shopping poem:)

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Lovely poem. You make me wish to visit that market.

Martin Kloess said...

You weaved a poem. She weaved an inspiration.

Magaly Guerrero said...

I love the moment you've capture, the scents and people, the reminders...

Susie Clevenger said...

You make me wish I could visit that market. "Lift a price tag, raise a brow,remind myself art isn't always expressed
with oil and brush" Yes!

hyperCRYPTICal said...

I love little markets and the crafts therein, and love how you have woven your words too.
Anna :o]