The buzzards stand on blistered rock

Where once defeated vessels burnt,

Two thousand summers’ storms and dust

Have left the empire’s vainest crushed.


Parades of egrets pass this way,

Their standing plumes like Ptolemy’s.

Where victors strut the herons halt,

And dart to pick the crusted salt.


The shallows of the gulf spread east

Where silver shoals entrap the sun,

And let it slip in golden shame,

As Cleopatra’s final flame.


The ochre soil and crumbled walls:

Once palace, temples, victory halls.


One Comment to “Actium/Nikopolis”

  1. I really like the feel, the flow of this. The last two lines especially.

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