October 04, 2007

Poetry: Tombs

When I went to Cyprus on holiday, to 'relax' as put by my family (though we did little of that, thinking about it), we stayed in Pafos and visited a few of the local ruins. This is a poem I wrote when visiting the Tomb of the Kings. I'm not much of a ruin / museum person, but this, combined with several mosaics of Greek mythology seen in said ruins inspired me. It helps that I have done Epic Tradition last year: this is what I really drew on for this poem, as you can probably tell. So without further ado...


In the dust of Pafos

(womb of the navel of the world)

Lies the Tomb of Kings.

But it is the tomb of kings

In only its name.

In these houses for the dead

No Atreides laid himself to rest.

No Agamemnon slept here

Wrapped in regal webbing.

The blood of the kin of Oedipus

Ran not here in Pafos.

Yet these were noble men that lived.

Not kings of men that died

In a golden age of spears and swords

But men who lived, for a time.

No heroes lifting giant boulders

But the several men who could lift it together.

These were the men who were

Stoned in death.

Now here we walk:

Yellow stalks dot the wayside,

Green leaves huddle in clefts,

Darker plants net the rocks

Beneath the feet of tourists.

Between the sand and stone

And walls made before we came,

We descend.

Standing, leaning on pillars

For support, we look on family chambers

Which are empty.

They are not here.

All that is left of noble men,

Their wives and children,

Are the doors,

The steps,

The walls

And dust.

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