Poems for poetry day
4th October 2018
Today is National Poetry Day, 2018. To mark this, I publish three of my poems based on history and legend.
A thousand slaves on Nemrud’s height did toil and raised a tumulus of such might that snow lay on its body, huge and bare. Six Titans sat, carved from titanic stone, and guarded Antiochus, lord of Commagene, whose mortal ashes, in his tomb, no longer can be seen.
Some lines depicting a Greek legend, 1966
Wild chaos, like a milky void, was there and from it, through the very beats of time, arose a Goddess with a graceful form. She found no solid thing to rest upon and so divided water from the wind. She made the boundless sea with flowing tide and danced upon its ripples and its waves. She danced upon the universe alone and grasped the tameless wind between her hands: she rubbed it and behold! A serpent grew. The star-crowned, black-winged goddess of the night, before whom even Zeus must stand in awe, was courted by the wind and made an egg of silver which she laid in Darkness’ womb.
Artemis gazes from above with hornéd creatures by her head. She fills the world with stormy love and constellations of red dread lie throbbing on her many breasts above the aching chasm’s floor that once contained her great incests – rise now with human gore.
All composed during my teenage years when ancient history was a new-found interest of mine. In my teenage years, I was steeped in ancient Western and Eastern religions, mythology and legends. Even today, I find that whole period difficult to understand or even to believe. And yet. All the evidence is there, the manuscripts that have survived for over fiftyfive years.