Echoes of history


Passing these whiter shades of pale, these pretty traces of lace,

We reveal the opal-luminosity of these few remaining late Romans,

Their indigo-dreams red with the gore of resistance on this bloody

May Day, negating their absorption into the timeless air of antiquity,

Through the thousand year creation of Constantinople’s drift and swell,

Rising into Elysium’s perfumed garden of lucidity.  Finally torn apart

 By Mehmed’s desecration, his infidel-hordes sweltering on their road to riches.

Muslim soldiers digging stench-filled trenches for Byzantium’s ladies;

While the few ragged monks drag the crucified from St Sophia’s walls,

Answering, unwittingly, deep- echoes of love’s sympathy for the dead,

Which, day-by-day from 1453 to 911, culminate in these Transylvanian

Transformations: under the endless summer skies of holy Constantinople,

Lengthening the penumbra-deep-shadows above those steepling twin towers,

As, after centuries of fitful forgetting, holy war resumes its darkest powers.

Image result for twin towers 911


◄ A blackbird sings on Bluebird hill

The season of the witch ►


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John Marks

Mon 5th Aug 2019 20:56

Thanks Keith and Jason. Yes, a big (but necessary) topic to explore in a sonnet. But, as Robert Browning, wrote "a man's reach should exceed his grasp/Or what's a heaven for?" We either learn from history or we are doomed to repeat the errors of the past. The 29 May 1453 is remembered across the Orthodox Christian world as a tragic defeat that saw Anatolia, the Near East and the Balkans handed over to the Ottoman Turks and their religion Islam for over 500 years. The only way that Constantinople could have been saved was if there had been concerted military action by Catholic Europe. That failed to come: “For Constantine a successful defense of the city depended on relief from Christian Europe. The endless round of diplomatic missions that preceded the siege had all been undertaken to beg or borrow men and resources for the cause of Christendom. Daily the population looked in the direction of the setting sun for another fleet — a squadron of Venetian or Genoese war galleys. … But the sea remained ominously empty.” On August 3rd 2014, ISIS moved its forces against the Yezedi and Christian minorities of Shingal in Kurdistan. The leaders of the minorities begged for help from the west. None came. Tens of thousands of innocent people were murdered or enslaved and forced to convert. This deliberate attempt at genocide has been ignored by the west. In fact, there has been a campaign to allow ISIS collaborators in this act of genocide back into their countries of origin. We don't learn, do we?

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Jason Bayliss

Mon 5th Aug 2019 19:09

Faith denies proof, it would not be necessary to have faith in the existence of any God if you could prove they existed. So all belief is an act of faith and therefore unprovable, and that's fine.

But given that by it's very definition faith denies the need for proof, why would anyone assert that their faith is the right one and all others are so wrong that believers should be persecuted, punished and murdered?

It makes me sad that whilst pretty much all religions teach peace and tolerance, they seem to generate so much killing and prejudice.

I have no faith, but would willingly accept that I may be wrong and someone else may be right, and I know most good religious people would too. So how do we all keep letting such terrible atrocities occur in the name of a God?

Great poem.

J. x

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keith jeffries

Mon 5th Aug 2019 14:57

A fabulous poem of searing depth and content. I loved every word.
Thank you


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