My village (Kyra Morfou)

Posted by: Maria Atalanti

Published on: 14/03/2021

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My village
was nothing more than
5-6 stones strewn
on the back of a small hill
and many thorns.

Hard ground,
sharp stones,
unforgiving thorns
and a merciless sun.

And in the Autumn,
with the first rainfall
three crocuses.
One white, the other mauve
and the third one -adorned with both!

Kyra (or Geera in the Cypriot dialect) lay about 3 miles east of Morphou. Before 1974, It had less than 1,000 inhabitants, who were mostly “farmers” in the broadest sense of the world. This means people who either had their own land or worked on other people’s land. The village grew almost everything: carrots, watermelons, wheat, and barley but in the 60s it started to “take control” of its water, and it was therefore able to start growing citrus fruit which made a lot of people rich.

The village had 3-4 coffee places, two barbers (one at each end of the village), a beautiful church and a shop (which belonged to my maternal grandfather) selling everything -from beans to passatempo and sweets. That grandfather had a lot of land and in fact it was him who built the village’s school. That is where I studied in my first 6 years.

On the other hand, my paternal grandfather was a shepherd, and my grandmother must have done every job possible (working in the fields, as a labourer in the making of new roads etc.). There was also a baker (Mr Savvas) and I remember that I used to go and collect freshly baked bread from him, every lunchtime.

We lost all this of course when Turkey invaded our country in 1974. I was 15 at the time and I still remember the day when we all piled in my father’s car (my parents, 5 children and my grandfather) to drive away, thinking that we would “return the next day”! We went to stay with some distant relatives in Pitsillia area and of course we are still waiting to return….

I wrote the following poem about our uprooting when I was still a 20-year-old in the early 80s.

Uprooting

We gathered all these artefacts
from our previous life,
a collection of moments, and nothing else.

We packed them up -where exactly did we pack them
as we had no packets?
And we carried them with us –
how exactly were we able to carry them,
as we had no strength?

Still, we carry them
silent in our heads,
for we have lost nothing.

 

Andreas Markides

To read about Andreas Markides follow the link below:

https://cosmosbloghttps://cosmosblog.io/andreas-markides/

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