A miracle, how else to say it then?
At first, but ground, absolutely nothing there,
A river meandering by, some cattle, gorse,
Nettle and herbs whose use proved no sure cure.

Then, as if by magic, he stood majestic, by –
Conjured from out thin air his being gainsaid
Something – at first a stone, and then a column.
Up, up, it went as if to spear the sky:
A point, a pinnacle to span the vacuum

Between earth and heaven; and how he shone,
How bright his helmet, and how his shield hung;
But nothing compared with his sublime lyre:
The tune he plucked – to which his voice, soft, sang.

Incredible, the god Apollo before
The wall that rose visible each note he played:
Coming into being that which was not –
The whole of Troy, that destiny long delayed.

And the god’s eyes glittered as they saw too
What only he could in the long before.
Completed, topless towers standing proud.
How long? 9, 11 minutes tops? Who’s sure?

Only as the city took its rising shape
And the great god basked in self-adulation,
His dawning eyes wavered, once, as he felt
One fearful tear – and whither its destination.


James Sale is a motivational speaker and poet in the United Kingdom.

Featured Image: “Le Mont Parnasse ou Apollon et les Muses” by Simon Vouet (1590-1649).

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6 Responses

    • james sale

      Thank you Shari – really appreciate your enthusiasm. This website from Evan Mantyk is truly remarkable and I hope it continues to build over the years with top quality poets and readers.

    • james sale

      I appreciate what you say, Joanie – what we all want: to be able to express our vision, but most of all to be ‘moving’ – for if poetry cannot do that then it may as well be prose! Thank you.

  1. Reid McGrath

    The plethora of commas creates a sort of rumbling (for lack of a better word), building sensation in this piece, which works well with the theme of your poem. What I like, more specifically, is that this “rumbling” element also portends the Fall you allude to in the last line, with the “fearful tear,” as anything that is built up in blocks can also come tumbling down in blocks as well.

    • james sale

      I like people who apply analytics to poems and I do it myself all the time: how is that effect created? And it is very gratifying to find a reader who can do that too – thank you. You are a pretty dab hand at using commas (and semi-colons) yourself: witness Metamorphic Rock – congrats on your prize – an excellent collection.


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