The Tower of the Winds

The Tower of the Winds was built in marble more than 2,000 years ago in the Roman Agora (meeting place) of Athens. It is believed to be the world's first weather station (and public time-piece). Almost intact, its octagonal construction echoes the eight principal compass points. Saved from the depredations of Lord Elgin, who plotted its removal to Britain over 200 years ago, the restored Tower now charms and intrigues its many visitors, including myself.

 

The Tower of the Winds

We are crestfallen as waves collapsed

on shallow beaches of disappointment, save for

redeeming features of lives led

on high redoubts, like Santorini's rooms

enjoyed on windy days

while handbells, in other hands,

ring the hours of our ways.

 

Opened windows show the tumbled cliffs beyond -

recall how all are hewn

by the bite of air, where faces of ice

stare, and millennial memories stir; for

the agora's Tower shudders fitfully, warning of the Khamsin's fury,

a restless edifice of white marble lain eagerly

on Athenian sand.

 

And the Tower of the Winds remains in spate,

is howling yet within us; late friends

and warriors whisper caution, like zephyrs:

“Bend your minds to sheltered harbours

or the Winds will seal your fate.”

 

Chris Hubbard

Athens

2016

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agoraAtheniancliffsdisappointmenthandbellsmillennialtumbledzephyrs

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Comments

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Chris Hubbard

Fri 24th Nov 2017 03:00

Hi Keith,

Many thanks for your comments. When I saw the Tower and understood its significance, I knew I had to mark my visit in some way. The sun shone on the world's colours as brightly, the winds blew as strong, today as they did in antiquity.

Chris

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keith jeffries

Thu 23rd Nov 2017 17:33

Chris, this poem is beautifully and dramatically written. Crafted in a manner which befits the edifice concerned and the wealth of history it contains. Thank you for this. Keith

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