. __Of Helen, Menelaus, war, Achilles, Paris and his treachery, __Of Agamemnon, Troy, and more, I wrote the Iliad and Odyssey. __Of Saracens and Charlemagne, Of Roland and his tragic, fateful day, __Of gallant loss and nobler gain I wrote and oft-performed my epic lay. __From Florence, and all that it hides, I went to Heaven, Hell, and in-between, __With Virgil, Beatrice as my guides And wrote in tercets all that I had seen. __When fickle love spit in my eye And charged my true heart false, and swore upon it, __Instead of challenging the lie. I praised my True Love’s beauty in a sonnet. __Of Flanders’ fields where poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row on row, __And of the men who lie below I grieved and honored them with a rondeau __When terrorists flew in and swept Away the peace and swapped it for a curse __I prayed and grieved and mourned and wept, But also wrote my feelings down in verse. __“What good is poetry?” you ask. “It changes nothing” . . . “Just a waste of time.” __And yet it is the poet’s task Through formal rhythmic meter, wit and rhyme __To capture for posterity The beauty, truth and other unseen things __That lie behind the mystery Of history in ways so that it sings. __And when it sings to us, we hear The distant voice of those who lived and walked __About with open eye and ear— Who sang their words instead of merely talked. . . James A. Tweedie is a retired pastor living in Long Beach, Washington. He has written and published six novels, one collection of short stories, and three collections of poetry including Mostly Sonnets, all with Dunecrest Press. His poems have been published nationally and internationally in The Lyric, Poetry Salzburg (Austria) Review, California Quarterly, Asses of Parnassus, Lighten Up Online, Better than Starbucks, WestWard Quarterly, Society of Classical Poets, and The Chained Muse.