The Talk of far-off Forums

top view photography of buildings and trees beside large body of water
Photo by Chedi Tanabene on

The Talk of far-off Forums

Some cities were built on solid rock,
Some cities were built on marsh,
Some cities were built on shifting sands,
Or fault-lines sleeping in filigree strands –
And some cities brought their own earthshock
By building themselves in wilderness harsh,
Or building themselves on the very lands
That other tribes sought in their conquering hands.
But no matter how long ago,
And no matter how brute their overthrow,
And no matter how the northwinds blow –
Not all their dust shall dissipate
Upon the breezes’ sarabands –
For all a city’s kiss-of-fate,
A glimpse remains, a trace withstands.
Through their footings bared and carvings old,
Through their buried pot and coins of gold,
And through their ev’ry mention in the tellers’ tales still told.

Some cities were held in high esteem,
Some cities were held in spite,
Some cities were held as shining states
To journeymen seeking their golden gates –
And some cities gave a lustrous gleam
That prophets implored their gods to smite,
That preachers condemned with envious hates
As other men praised for their glorious freights.
Ambition or apocalypse,
Each name upon their distant lips
As the place where sin and fortune grips –
The place, the home of orgies grand,
The nest of countless sirens’ baits,
Where ev’ry taste it shall command,
As ev’ry thirst it satiates.
Through their legends past and heroes bold,
Through their poets’ songs and glamours sold,
And still their very mention breathes them life that we behold.

3 thoughts on “The Talk of far-off Forums

  1. This is a simply beautiful website with highly original (and yet in some ways traditional) poems. Are you making much effort to get any of them published. The Talk of far off forums, for example, is, I think, very strong. Time to use use your toasting fork to put some of your poems into the fire of criticism!


    1. Thanks. To tell the truth, I’ve pretty much given up on the magazines, even electronic ones. I would recommend Snakeskin and Lighten Up Online, which have been good enough to publish me before, but even with them I had far more failures than successes (and it *does* feel like a failure when they turn me down), but the worst part is that I would never know why – these were what I considered my best work, just silently dismissed. Yes, I know, subjective taste is a curious thing – to quote Huey Lewis “Makes one man weep / And another man sing”.


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