This is the sea around and across which civilizations

Have flowed since time immemorial: Phoenicians,

Carthaginians, Mesopotamians, Greeks, Romans, Moors, Arabs, Byzantines...

This sea is so old and so blue, taste the salty tear-drops running down my face,

As I trace the edges of the sea routes around Italy, the Levant, Spain...

I listen to the same wind and tide once heard by Homer's hero, Odysseus,

Who, of all the heroes of tragedy and romance, most often speaks to me

As he cries out the agony of the loss of the one he loved so well.

All around this sea are the signs and seals of  all the unbedimmed tragedy

That has afflicted us as merely humans for millenia.

People escaping from one place and travelling to another place.

Travelling to lands they hope and pray will redeem them.

Battles on the sea and land fought to turn the world upside down

Are now forgotten but the lays and loves of us, the merely human,

Besmirch the memory and call the poets out

To speak about all the inconsolable beauties of this endless, chartered sea.



◄ The merry, merry month of May

Our endless, numbered days ►


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John Marks

Mon 13th May 2019 19:10

Thanks Jennifer. I am learning from you, in more ways than one; you are a whizz! J

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jennifer Malden

Mon 13th May 2019 18:16

The Romans only travelled regularly from April to October on 'Mare Nostrum', and they did try to hug the coastline when possible. It is also suffering greatly from plastic pollution, being an enclosed sea.

Great writing. Jennifer

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John Marks

Mon 13th May 2019 17:50

Thank you Martin. John

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Martin Elder

Sun 12th May 2019 22:44

This is a fabulous poem that bears all the hall marks of an epic. I take your point about the sea battles of this time but just sailing across the med was fraught with danger. Many ships tended to hug the coastline if they could but that in itself was dangerous when a storm brewed. As a result there are a number of wrecks around the coasts.
Nice one John

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