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Lawrence Hall Feb 2018
This is neither history nor theology;
this is Romance:

                                       A Liturgy for the Emperor

In memory of
Patrick Joseph Donovan,
Stratiotis

Processional

How, then, will we find death?  With rifle in hand,
Perhaps, or flowing with the warm, worn prayers
That slip with beads through one's fingers and soul.
Rifle or Rosary, either will do.
One's death might rise in the boldness of youth,
Or in the wearied wisdom of old age,
In wild combat against ancient evils,
Or softly, while planting a red-apple tree
For grandchildren to summer-celebrate,
In wild red martyrdom, or obscure white.

The nights still whisper how the Emperor fell,
Fell with a faithful few upon the walls,
The old land walls of Constantinople.
But we are not to speak of martyrs whose
Transcendent beauty reproaches our times,
Our drifting dark age, drab, dreary, and dim
Our tomb-like lives cluttered with small darkness,
Our talk all common, colourless, and cold:
The thoughts assigned programmed into our souls,
Daymares programmed into us for our good,
Pitiful, pattering, prosthetic prose,
Cacophonies of casual cruelties --
No brave iambic lines for golden dreams.

But dare we also whisper truths, and speak
Of what a wind-wild people once we were,
And we will want our syllables to sing
In honour of the Martyr-Emperor
And those who followed him into his death,
And in this knowing of him we can live
Among those souls who are forever young.

Introit

In Nomine Partis, et Filli, et Spiritus Sancti

We will go to the Altar of God
To God, Who gives joy to our youth
We will go to the Altar of God
We will go to Byzantium

Kyrie

Lord have mercy -- when the shadows surround us
Christ have mercy -- when we forget the Three Romes
Lord have mercy -- when we forget You

Gloria

Glory to God in the highest
And peace to His Byzantine people
And all His peoples
Lord God, Heavenly King
who once blessed us with Emperors
Send us another
Send Your waiting people their Emperor

The First Reading

As Constantine his walls he watched, he wept,
Lost in the Gethsemane of his soul
His tears they fell upon the ancient bricks
Warm with centuries of sun, saintliness,
And the passions of a glorious race

The City!  Long reigning on the Golden Horn
The Summer Country of our childhood dreams
There playing, praying, working, selling, and,
Yes, sinning too.  Passionate *Romanoi
--
What a magnificent people we were.

(fast)

When armies marched to the Byzantine beat
Sophia ruled from her Byzantine seat  
When Byzantine sails sheltered Odysseus' sea
The wave-roads of trade were open and free  
When Romanoi feasted, blood mixed with wine
Daggers drawn over a dancing concubine
A newer Helen who provoked desire,
She seared men's eyes with her own Greek Fire
When Blues and Greens howled in the Hippodrome --
Such rowdy citizens in Second Rome! --
Then even Emperors in purple shoes
Feared stoning by Greens or hanging by Blues
The rough, loud democracy of the street --
Mobs also marched to the Byzantine beat

The Second Reading

(slowly)

But –

Above all rose Justinian's gem
The holy place where God called us to Him
The Mother Church of dawn-lit Christendom
Sophia -- the Queen of Byzantium
Where Patriarch, patrician, people, and priest
Gave worship.  Then the greatest and the least
Abandoned sin to hear the sweet bells ring,
Stood penitent before our God, our King:
In consecrated hands, through wine and bread

Christos Pantocrater fed us Himself

And then all hearts were cleansed, all souls were fed

(Very slowly)

But centuries passed, and this City of God
Heart of the Empire, became the Empire,
As lands and peoples were lost forever
to the creeping new age.  When Constantine,
The last Constantine, was called to the Throne,
All that was left was The City herself,
The Morea, and islands, and memories.
The fleet whose sails had shaded the Inner Sea
Was but a few hopeless hulks in the Horn

From the dust, dark shadows metastasized,
Shadows who stole and slew their way to power
And swept the land bare of free folk and fields
And more and more the shadows grasped and held,
A dead world of slaves whose backs were bloodied
Beneath the whips of masters, slaves whose eyes
Were cast carefully, cautiously to the ground
Lest demeanour manly and bearing proud
Attract the executioners' busy blades.

Finally, after devouring lands and souls,
The shadows coveted Constantinople,
The Red-Apple Tree where continents meet,
The City they could never build for themselves
And nothing stood between them and their lust
But one bold man: Constantine Dragases.
The faithful few who stood the walls with him,
Gathered around proud, stubborn Constantine:
Workers and monks and nuns, beggars, merchants,
Proud, arrogant Byzantines, and the few
Wild Latins From the barbarian West
Whose Greek was in their hearts, not on their lips,
Who gave their loyalty late to their liege lord,
The Emperor, who could have safely lain
A shadow's golden-caged slave, obedient,
Well-fed, well-bedded from the shadows'
Catalogues of pretty girls and prettier boys,
A memory of what had been a man.

But Constantine stood proudly on his walls,
Defiantly, bravely, sadly there on
His crumbling ancient walls, and gave his faith
To God and the City, to his people,
Even to the faithless ones, even to his death.

And others came, From Rome and Spain and France,
From Germany, and even from the Turks,
Brave, lonely men with reasons of their own
For ending their lives there on the Land Walls.

But they were not enough.  And late that night,
After the last Mass in Hagia Sophia,
The Emperor knew that his was the blood,
The blood of sacrifice that would be shed
In remembrance of ****** Golgotha,
For the people he was given to rule,
For the people for whom he chose to die,
Sheltering, protecting, until his end.


A Gospel

No angel appeared to the Emperor,
No voice of God from a burning bush
He parted himself from his followers
And for a few minutes grieved alone

And this was given Constantine to know:

The eternal Constantinople is
Never to be lost, never defeated --
In every Christian flows Dragases' blood
Every village is the Holy City
Every church is Hagia Sophia
Every prayer is a Mass for the Emperor
Every children's foot-race the Hippodrome
Every poor family's poor supper
A banquet under the Red-Apple Tree.
Constantinople will live forever.
Know that, and, laughing, give your last earth-hour,
And your joyful eternity, to God.

Credo

We believe in God's holy empire too,
Byzantium, eternally golden
The Red-Apple Tree in the eastern sun
The City that echoes with laughing light
Through memory and history and beyond.
We believe in God and His Emperor,
And we believe that in the absence of
The Emperor, even then we must be
The Emperor's subjects, stubborn and true,
Wherever God has chosen to send us.
We then must rule our passions and our hearts,
Tend our gardens as if they were Eden --
Because they are -- and care for our children
As if angels were visiting tonight,
Until our God restores our Emperor,
Restores His City where the Earth-halves meet,
And finally, some day, some happy day,
Returns Himself to sit and rule enthroned
In His Three Romes, and in Jerusalem.


Communion

Constantine shook himself, and gave commands,
Commending all to duty and to God.
Above him the dome of Hagia Sophia
Glowed eerily on that last, wild night
While lightning slashed among the sliding clouds
Byzantium rose again for one glorious hour
And the world marveled that such things could be,
That Christ and Rome and Constantinople
Could be found in one man at the end of an age.

Blood, *****, screams, and death;
blood, *****, death
Blood, *****, screams, and death;
blood, *****, screams
Blood, *****, screams, and death;
blood, *****, death
Blood, *****, screams, and death;
blood, *****, screams
The glory is that there is no glory.
Chaos.  Horror.  Stench.  Sweat.  Pain.  *****.  Death.
Hi­s -- His -- body broken again for us.

On that dark morning of a dark new age,
Constantine turned and faced its slithering shadows
With a Byzantine end to his ruler's art,
With the peace of Christ and a hero's heart.

DISMISSAL

The Mass is ended.  Byzantium is ended.  
Escape, if you can -- make Byzantium live.
Escape to live in some peace, if you can.
Escape in peace to love and serve in exile.
Escape in peace to love and serve the Lord.

"O Lord save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance;
And to Thy Faithful king grant victory over the barbarians.
And by the power of Thy Cross, protect all those who follow  
          Thee"1

Not an End at All

1Troparion for the Sunday of the Elevation of the Cross, Divine Prayers and Serves of the Catholic Orthodox Church of Christ, copyright 1938.

Many thanks to Mr. Tod Mixson and others of St. Michael's Orthodox Church for assistance at many points, both liturgical and artistic, to Dr. Dan Bailey, of happy memory, and Dr. John Dahmus of Stephen F. Austin State University.
RAJ NANDY Dec 2017
THE TRUE STORY OF JERUSALEM IN VERSE :
  FOLLOWING DONALD TRUMP'S RECOGNITION
Dear Readers, to usher in the spirit of Christmas, I wish to
share with you the true Story of Jerusalem in Verse. Based on
Biblical chronology, and several articles about its Early History.
Though the three of our World’s greatest religions have a common
lineage, yet religious bickering and hatred continues to exist in
our present age! Let this Season of Christmas bring peace with
goodwill and love. Let us all pray together for a peaceful World!
If you like this true story, kindly recommend it to all your poet
friends to read this slice of History. Thanks, from Raj Nandy.

   STORY OF JERUSALEM - GOD'S “PROMISED LAND”
                         IN VERSE: By Raj Nandy
                  
                       INTRODUCTION
After reading my ‘Arab Contribution to Science’ and the
downfall of Islam’s Golden Age,
A friend had requested me to write about The Crusades.
Now the Mongol contribution was far greater towards
Islamic Empire’s downfall,
For though the First Crusade besieged the Holy City of
Jerusalem making it fall,
The subsequent Crusades to the Seljuk Turks lost all!
But before writing about the Nine Crusades proper,
To acquaint my readers with the historic city of
Jerusalem becomes my present endeavor.
For Jerusalem is sacred to the Jews, Christian, and the
Muslims alike,
As their holy relics and shrines are housed in that Old
City’s revered sites!
But prior to narrating the story of Old Jerusalem City,
Let me tell you briefly about its early history.
About the patriarch Abraham, whom God led to this
‘Promised Land’.
From where this true story of Jerusalem really began.

                 HISTORICAL  BACKGROUND
The city of Jerusalem was twice razed to the ground.
Besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, captured and
recaptured 44 times, surprising as it all may sound!
In an era of idolatry and multiple gods, Abraham born*
in the ancient City of Ur,# believed in a single God!
(1800 BC)
So God was pleased and in a covenant with Patriarch
Abraham,
Blessed him to become the ‘Father of Many Nations’
in a distant ‘Promised Land’!
Thus Abraham with his wife Sarah and nephew Lot,
Entered the Land of Canaan as promised by God.
But when a famine ravaged the Land of Canaan,
Abraham had moved onto Egypt on his own!
Having suffered there for some ungodly acts, his
return to the Land of Canaan remains a historical fact.
Through Abraham and Sarah’s Egyptian maid Hagar, -
his son Ishmael was born.
From Ishmael descended the ‘Ishmaelites’, to
become the Twelve Arab Tribes later on!
Next, with the blessings of the Lord, to Abraham
and Sarah son Isaac was born.
Isaac’s son Jacob fathered the Twelve Jewish Tribes,
Who became collectively known as the ‘Israelites’.
From the ‘Tribe of Benjamin’ came King Saul, the
first King of united Israel rising tall.
From the ‘Tribe of Judah’ King David, Solomon, and
several Kings of Judah did rise;
As proud forefathers of the Messiah Jesus Christ!
Thus in Judaism both the Arabs and the Christians
find a common lineage;
Yet unfortunately bitter differences continue to
exist even in our present age!
NOTES: Canaan was the ancient name of a large & prosperous
country (at times independent, at others a territory to Egypt),
which roughly corresponds to present day Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Israel. Canaan
was also known as ‘Phoenicia’ between 3200 BC & 539 BC. # Ur = an important
Sumerian city-state in ancient Mesopotamia.


           ORIGINS OF JERUSALEM
Jerusalem has been hailed by many names,
Gets mentioned as ‘Rushalium’ in an ancient
Egyptian text!  (2000 BC)
Also as Salem, Moriah, Jebus and Zion, this capital city
of the Israelites had been known.
Jerusalem as the remnant town of Salem, is also
mentioned in the ‘Book of Joshua’ Chapter Ten.
It was earlier a Jebusite City, which was conquered by  
King David around 1003 BC;
When David shifted his capital to Jerusalem from Hebron.
In Jerusalem he kept the Holy Ark in a sacred Tabernacle,
For which his son King Solomon had built the First Great
Temple.
This Sacred Ark contained the ‘Ten Commandments’,
Which accompanied the Israelites during their 40 years
of desert wandering with Moses, as their guidance!
But since majority of the tribes were hesitant to fight the
Canaanites for their ‘Promised Land’,
God blessed Joshua, the successor of Moses, to lead the
Tribes to their ‘Promised Land’.
NOTE: Jebusite was one of the ancient Canaanite tribes, conquered by
King David.

        TURBULENT HISTORY OF JERUSALEM
Now cutting across several centuries of its dynamic
history, let me continue with Jerusalem’s Story.
The death of King Solomon (931 BC) ended Israel’s
‘Golden Age’,
And this united Kingdom of Israel was split into
Northern and Southern states.
Ten Tribes formed the Northern Kingdom of Israel
with its capital at Samaria;
While Jerusalem became the capital of the Southern
half called Judea.
In unity lies strength, and in division further dissention;
This kingdom of King David and Solomon now becomes
prey to several foreign invasions!
Jerusalem gets attacked by the Egyptians, Assyrians,
Babylonians, Persians, and those imperial Romans, who
had initially built but later destroyed the Second
Jewish Temple!
The cruel King Herod, Judea’s Roman Protector,
Though of unstable mind, was a great builder!
‘The Wailing Wall’ and most of the ruins visible today,
Were built by the despot Herod as Archeologists say!
King Herod enlarged the Temple Mount with a massive
retaining wall around it.
Renovated the Second Temple which finally acquired  
his name!
But in 70 AD the Roman Emperor Titus, razed this
Second Temple to the ground, as Historians inform us!
Jerusalem had some peace under the Christian Byzantine
Emperor Constantine,
Who upheld Christianity, and his mother Helena inspired
the building of many hallowed shrines;
Only to be occupied by the Seljuk Turks later, who
desecrated those shrines!
Till the First Crusade in 1099 captured Jerusalem, to
provide eighty eight years of respite.
Next in 1187 the Seljuk Turk Saladin conquered Jerusalem;
When a peace treaty with Richard ‘The Lion Heart’ allowed
the visit of its ‘Holy Shrines’ by the Christians.
The British captured Jerusalem from the Ottoman Turks
in Nineteen hundred and seventeen;
And in 1948 the State of Israel was born, realizing
Abraham’s dream!
But surrounded by hostile enemies on all sides, Israel
had to fight continuously for its survival as a Nation;
And now I pause to pay my humble tribute to those
valiant Israelites with salutation!

           THE OLD CITY OF JERUSALEM
Nestled on the hollow of the hills of Judea this city
spreads out on a plateau 800 meters above the sea.
With its Dome shining in the sun, dominating  some five
thousand years of history!
The City stretches 0.9 square kilometers surrounded by
retaining walls between 16 to 46 feet in height.
Which includes more than 200 monuments and sacred
sites!
Until the 1860s the Old City had represented entire
Jerusalem collectively.
But later under the initiative of the British, settlements
outside its wall began confidently.
During 1946 when Israel declared its Independence,
The ‘old city’ remained under the control of the Jordanians;
Only to be liberated during the Six Day’s War in 1967!

           OLD CITY GATES AND QUARTERS
The walls around the Old City stretch for 4.5 kilometers,
With its height varying between five to sixteen meters.
It has 43 surveillance towers and eleven gates.
However, only seven gates remain open as on date.
The current wall was built in 1538 by Sultan Suleiman
the Magnificent.
On the southern side of this wall is the Zion Gate, leading
to the Armenian Quarters overlooking Mount Zion outside;
Where lies King David’s tomb, a Holy Site.
The Dung Gate leads to the Jewish Quarters from the south;
And the way to Al-Aksa Mosque inside the Temple Mount.
The Jaffa or the Main Gate is on the west, with its famous
Citadel and the ‘Tower of David’ built by King Herod.
This gate leads to the Christian Quarters inside, while the
road goes to the port of Jaffa outside.
A New Gate was also built further up on the north-western
side,    (in1898)
For entry of the German Emperor William the Second,
through the Christian side!
The Damascus Gate in the middle of the Northern Wall
was the largest and the most heavily defended Gate.
Where excavations have revealed an old ‘Roman Gate’
beneath it.
Through this Gate had entered the Holy Crusade!
Further east on the northern wall is the ‘Herod’s Gate’,
Leading to the Muslim Quarters and the ‘Souk’, – the
Arab markets.
On the East is the Lions Gate, with carved figure of
lions on the gate’s crest;
Both for the Christian and the Jews this gate has a
special significance!
For this gate marks the walk ‘Via Dolorosa’, the path
taken by Jesus from the Garden of Gethsemane to
his Crucifixion Site,
Where stands the Church of Holy Sepulcher built by
the Emperor Constantine.
In 1967 the Israeli 55th Para Brigade entered through this
‘Lions Gate’, after a hand-to-hand fight with the Jordanians.
When they hoisted the Star of David on the Temple Mount  
to reclaim Jerusalem!
Jerusalem was declared as their Capital City,
Concluding a chapter of its turbulent History!

Since the time of the Crusades Jerusalem has remained
traditionally divided into Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and
Armenian sections;
Each with its sacred Synagogues, Churches, and Mosques,
defying the City’s unification!
Yet amidst the gong of church bells, the call of Muezzin,
and recitation of the Torah,
Old Jerusalem reverberates with a unique religious
euphoria!

           SACRED MONUMENTS AND SITES
‘The Wailing Wall’ is the more popular name for that part
of Western Wall built by King Herod during 19 BC,
Around the Second Jewish Temple which he renovated,
for the world to see!
Today only 167 feet of this exposed ‘Wall’ remains,
which is 62 feet high.
As a solitary witness to that once glorious past, which
evokes a deep sighs!
It is the holiest of Jewish shrines today where they
congregate.
To pray in front of this Sacred Wall and to loudly lament,
The loss of their Great Temple which was once made!
Inside the cracks in the wall many folded papers can be
seen;
Coating their petitions to God with prayers from within!

The Temple Mount is perhaps the oldest of all shrines.
Sacred to both the Christians and the Muslims alike!
For here on a rock alter Abraham had bound his son
Isaac,
Ready to sacrifice him when the Lord put him to a test!
Here King Solomon had built the First Jewish Temple;
Which during 587 BC, was destroyed by the King of
Babylon!
The King also took the Jews into captivity lasting nearly
seventy long years;
And Psalm 137 tells us how the Jews remembering Zion
on the banks of River of Babylon, - shed their tears!
That old song by ‘Bonny M’, now rings in my ears!
This was also the site of the Second Temple destroyed
by the Romans.
Who renamed Jerusalem as ‘Aelia Capitolina’, making
the City pagan!
Al-Aqsa Mosque or ‘The Farthest Mosque’, located on the
Mount, was completed around 705 AD they say.
Has been claimed by the Muslims as the site where their
Prophet traveled ‘during the night’ from Mecca to pray;
And from where angle Gabriel accompanied him to
Heaven or ‘Jannat,’ - all the way!
So they constructed the ‘Dome of The Rock’ to mark
this ascension;
Which around 691 AD saw its completion.
The Golden Gate on the east leading to the Temple Mount,
Was sealed by the Muslims during Sixth Century following
their fears and doubts.
For the Jew’s claim their Messiah will enter through this
Golden Gate one day.
Which unnerved the Muslims whatever one may say.
So outside this sealed gate they also built a cemetery;
Let future events gradually unfold in Jerusalem’s Story!

                       CONCLUSION
Now dear readers I conclude this narration, with some
food for thought and contemplation.
‘Jerusalem’ is mentioned in the Jewish Bible 669 times,
and 154 times as ‘Zion’. (‘Land of Israel’)
In the Christian Bible it is mentioned 161 times; but not
once in the Hindu ‘Gita’, the Buddhist Scriptures, or in
the Muslim Koran;
Not forgetting the fact that God is Supreme and One!
The Koran speaks only of “The Furthest Mosque” where  
the Prophet went to pray,
From Mecca we know Holy Medina comes on the way.*
(please see notes below)
The Holy Bible is also a record of Early Civilizations ,
Supported by Archaeological finds, carbon dating, and
countless excavations.
The Jewish claim to the ‘Land of Canaan’ is more than
3000 years old;
And Israel today occupies 75% of that historic piece of
land we know and have been told!
The Old City in 1981 has been declared as UNESCO’s
Heritage Site.
Let the ‘Spirit of Humanity’ overtake all religious divide!
It is true that History has evolved from the Myths and
Legends of the past.
But it is for us to separate the wheat from the chaff.
I have done adequate research of this Ancient History.
Now I leave it to You my Readers for drawing your own conclusions after reading this true Story!
Thank you readers for reading patiently,
From Raj Nandy of New Delhi .
ALL COPY RIGHTS ARE WITH THE AUTHOR ONLY
*** Dear Readers, I have pointed out in the concluding portion that as per all available evidence, claim of the Holy Kaaba on the Temple Mount by the Muslims is not supported by the true History of Jerusalem!
RAJ NANDY Dec 2015
Dear Readers, to usher in the spirit of Christmas, I wish to
share with you the true Story of Jerusalem in Verse. Based on
Biblical chronology, and several articles about its Early History.
Though the three of our World’s greatest religions have a common
lineage, yet religious bickering and hatred continues to exist
in our present age! Let this Season of Christmas bring peace with
goodwill and love. Let us all pray together for a peaceful World!
If you like this true story, kindly recommend it to all your poet
friends to read this slice of History. Thanks, from Raj Nandy.


   STORY OF JERUSALEM - “THE PROMISED LAND”
                IN VERSE: By Raj Nandy
                  
                       INTRODUCTION
After reading my ‘Arab Contribution to Science’ and the
downfall of Islam’s Golden Age,
A friend had requested me to write about The Crusades.
Now the Mongol contribution was far greater towards
Islamic Empire’s downfall,
For though the First Crusade besieged the Holy City of
Jerusalem making it fall,
The subsequent Crusades to the Seljuk Turks lost all!
But before writing about the Nine Crusades proper,
To acquaint my readers with the historic city of
Jerusalem becomes my present endeavor.
For Jerusalem is sacred to the Jews, Christian, and the
Muslims alike,
As their holy relics and shrines are housed in that Old
City’s revered sites!
But prior to narrating the story of Old Jerusalem City,
Let me tell you briefly about its early history.
About the patriarch Abraham, whom God led to this
‘Promised Land’.
From where this true story of Jerusalem really began.

                 HISTORICAL  BACKGROUND
The city of Jerusalem was twice razed to the ground.
Besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, captured and
recaptured 44 times, surprising as it all may sound!
In an era of idolatry and multiple gods, Abraham born*
in the ancient City of Ur,# believed in a single God!
(1800 BC)
So God was pleased and in a covenant with Patriarch
Abraham,
Blessed him to become the ‘Father of Many Nations’
in a distant ‘Promised Land’!
Thus Abraham with his wife Sarah and nephew Lot,
Entered the Land of Canaan as promised by God.
But when a famine ravaged the Land of Canaan,
Abraham had moved onto Egypt on his own!
Having suffered there for some ungodly acts, his
return to the Land of Canaan remains a historical fact.
Through Abraham and Sarah’s Egyptian maid Hagar, -
his son Ishmael was born.
From Ishmael descended the ‘Ishmaelites’, to
become the Twelve Arab Tribes later on!
Next, with the blessings of the Lord, to Abraham
and Sarah son Isaac was born.
Isaac’s son Jacob fathered the Twelve Jewish Tribes,
Who became collectively known as the ‘Israelites’.
From the ‘Tribe of Benjamin’ came King Saul, the
first King of united Israel rising tall.
From the ‘Tribe of Judah’ King David, Solomon, and
several Kings of Judah did rise;
As proud forefathers of the Messiah Jesus Christ!
Thus in Judaism both the Arabs and the Christians
find a common lineage;
Yet unfortunately bitter differences continue to
exist even in our present age!
NOTES: Canaan was the ancient name of a large & prosperous
country (at times independent, at others a territory to Egypt),
which roughly corresponds to present day Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Israel. Canaan was also known as ‘Phoenicia’ between 3200 BC & 539 BC. # Ur = an important Sumerian city-state in ancient Mesopotamia.


               ORIGINS OF JERUSALEM
Jerusalem has been hailed by many names,
Gets mentioned as ‘Rushalium’ in an ancient
Egyptian text!  (2000 BC)
Also as Salem, Moriah, Jebus and Zion, this capital city
of the Israelites had been known.
Jerusalem as the remnant town of Salem, is also
mentioned in the ‘Book of Joshua’ Chapter Ten.
It was earlier a Jebusite City
, which was conquered by  
King David around 1003 BC;
When David shifted his capital to Jerusalem from Hebron.
In Jerusalem he kept the Holy Ark in a sacred Tabernacle,
For which his son King Solomon had built the First Great
Temple.
This Sacred Ark contained the ‘Ten Commandments’,
Which accompanied the Israelites during their 40 years
of desert wandering with Moses, as their guidance!
But since majority of the tribes were hesitant to fight the
Canaanites for their ‘Promised Land’,
God blessed Joshua, the successor of Moses, to lead the
Tribes to their ‘Promised Land’.
NOTE: Jebusite was one of the ancient Canaanite tribes, conquered by
King David.

            TURBULENT HISTORY OF JERUSALEM
Now cutting across several centuries of its dynamic
history, let me continue with Jerusalem’s Story.
The death of King Solomon (931 BC) ended Israel’s
‘Golden Age’,
And this united Kingdom of Israel was split into
Northern and Southern states.
Ten Tribes formed the Northern Kingdom of Israel
with its capital at Samaria;
While Jerusalem became the capital of the Southern
half called Judea.
In unity lies strength, and in division further dissention;
This kingdom of King David and Solomon now becomes
prey to several foreign invasions!
Jerusalem gets attacked by the Egyptians, Assyrians,
Babylonians, Persians, and those imperial Romans, who
had initially built but later destroyed the Second
Jewish Temple!
The cruel King Herod, Judea’s Roman Protector,
Though of unstable mind, was a great builder!
‘The Wailing Wall’ and most of the ruins visible today,
Were built by the despot Herod as Archeologists say!
King Herod enlarged the Temple Mount with a massive
retaining wall around it.
Renovated the Second Temple which finally acquired  
his name!
But in 70 AD the Roman Emperor Titus, razed this
Second Temple to the ground, as Historians inform us!
Jerusalem had some peace under the Christian Byzantine
Emperor Constantine,
Who upheld Christianity, and his mother Helena inspired
the building of many hallowed shrines;
Only to be occupied by the Seljuk Turks later, who
desecrated those shrines!
Till the First Crusade in 1099 captured Jerusalem, to
provide eighty eight years of respite.
Next in 1187 the Seljuk Turk Saladin conquered Jerusalem;
When a peace treaty with Richard ‘The Lion Heart’ allowed
the visit of its ‘Holy Shrines’ by the Christians.
The British captured Jerusalem from the Ottoman Turks
in Nineteen hundred and seventeen;
And in 1948 the State of Israel was born, realizing
Abraham’s dream!
But surrounded by hostile enemies on all sides, Israel
had to fight continuously for its survival as a Nation;
And now I pause to pay my humble tribute to those
valiant Israelites with salutation!

                              THE OLD CITY
Nestled on the hollow of the hills of Judea this city
spreads out on a plateau 800 meters above the sea.
With its Dome shining in the sun, dominating  some five
thousand years of history!
The City stretches 0.9 square kilometers surrounded by
retaining walls between 16 to 46 feet in height.
Which includes more than 200 monuments and sacred
sites!
Until the 1860s the Old City had represented entire
Jerusalem collectively.
But later under the initiative of the British, settlements
outside its wall began confidently.
During 1946 when Israel declared its Independence,
The ‘old city’ remained under the control of the Jordanians;
Only to be liberated during the Six Day’s War in 1967!

                OLD CITY GATES AND QUARTERS
The walls around the Old City stretch for 4.5 kilometers,
With its height varying between five to sixteen meters.
It has 43 surveillance towers and eleven gates.
However, only seven gates remain open as on date.
The current wall was built in 1538 by Sultan Suleiman
the Magnificent.
On the southern side of this wall is the Zion Gate, leading
to the Armenian Quarters overlooking Mount Zion outside;
Where lies King David’s tomb, a Holy Site.
The Dung Gate leads to the Jewish Quarters from the south;
And the way to Al-Aksa Mosque inside the Temple Mount.
The Jaffa or the Main Gate is on the west, with its famous
Citadel and the ‘Tower of David’ built by King Herod.
This gate leads to the Christian Quarters inside, while the
road goes to the port of Jaffa outside.
A New Gate was also built further up on the north-western
side,    (in1898)
For entry of the German Emperor William the Second,
through the Christian side!
The Damascus Gate in the middle of the Northern Wall
was the largest and the most heavily defended Gate.
Where excavations have revealed an old ‘Roman Gate’
beneath it.
Through this Gate had entered the Holy Crusade!
Further east on the northern wall is the ‘Herod’s Gate’,
Leading to the Muslim Quarters and the ‘Souk’, – the
Arab markets.
On the East is the Lions Gate, with carved figure of
lions on the gate’s crest;
Both for the Christian and the Jews this gate has a
special significance!
For this gate marks the walk ‘Via Dolorosa’, the path
taken by Jesus from the Garden of Gethsemane to
his Crucifixion Site,
Where stands the Church of Holy Sepulcher built by
the Emperor Constantine.
In 1967 the Israeli 55th Para Brigade entered through this
‘Lions Gate’, after a hand-to-hand fight with the Jordanians.
When they hoisted the Star of David on the Temple Mount  
to reclaim Jerusalem!
Jerusalem was declared as their Capital City,
Concluding a chapter of its turbulent History!

Since the time of the Crusades Jerusalem has remained
traditionally divided into Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and
Armenian sections;
Each with its sacred Synagogues, Churches, and Mosques,
defying the City’s unification!
Yet amidst the gong of church bells, the call of Muezzin,
and recitation of the Torah,
Old Jerusalem reverberates with a unique religious
euphoria!

               SACRED MONUMENTS AND SITES
‘The Wailing Wall’ is the more popular name for that part
of Western Wall built by King Herod during 19 BC,
Around the Second Jewish Temple which he renovated,
for the world to see!
Today only 167 feet of this exposed ‘Wall’ remains,
which is 62 feet high.
As a solitary witness to that once glorious past, which
evokes a deep sighs!
It is the holiest of Jewish shrines today where they
congregate.
To pray in front of this Sacred Wall and to loudly lament,
The loss of their Great Temple which was once made!
Inside the cracks in the wall many folded papers can be
seen;
Coating their petitions to God with prayers from within!

The Temple Mount is perhaps the oldest of all shrines.
Sacred to both the Christians and the Muslims alike!
For here on a rock alter Abraham had bound his son
Isaac,
Ready to sacrifice him when the Lord put him to a test!
Here King Solomon had built the First Jewish Temple;
Which during 587 BC, was destroyed by the King of
Babylon!
The King also took the Jews into captivity lasting nearly
seventy long years;
And Psalm 137 tells us how the Jews remembering Zion
on the banks of River of Babylon, - shed their tears!
That old song by ‘Bonny M’, now rings in my ears!
This was also the site of the Second Temple destroyed
by the Romans.
Who renamed Jerusalem as ‘Aelia Capitolina’, making
the City pagan!
Al-Aqsa Mosque or ‘The Farthest Mosque’, located on the
Mount, was completed around 705 AD they say.
Has been claimed by the Muslims as the site where their
Prophet traveled ‘during the night’ from Mecca to pray;
And from where angle Gabriel accompanied him to
Heaven or ‘Jannat,’ - all the way!
So they constructed the ‘Dome of The Rock’ to mark
this ascension;
Which around 691 AD saw its completion.
The Golden Gate on the east leading to the Temple Mount,
Was sealed by the Muslims during Sixth Century following
their fears and doubts.
For the Jew’s claim their Messiah will enter through this
Golden Gate one day.
Which unnerved the Muslims whatever one may say.
So outside this sealed gate they also built a cemetery;
Let future events gradually unfold in Jerusalem’s Story!

                            CONCLUSION
Now dear readers I conclude this narration, with some
food for thought and contemplation.
‘Jerusalem’ is mentioned in the Jewish Bible 669 times,
and 154 times as ‘Zion’. (‘Land of Israel’)
In the Christian Bible it is mentioned 161 times; but not
once in the Hindu ‘Gita’, the Buddhist Scriptures, or in
the Koran;
Not forgetting the fact that God is Supreme and One!
The Koran speaks only of “The Furthest Mosque” where  
the Prophet went to pray,
From Mecca we know Holy Medina comes on the way.
The Holy Bible is also a record of Early Civilizations ,
Supported by Archaeological finds, carbon dating, and
countless excavations.
The Jewish claim to the ‘Land of Canaan’ is more than
3000 years old;
And Israel today occupies 75% of that historic piece of
land we know and have been told!
The Old City in 1981 has been declared as UNESCO’s
Heritage Site.
Let the ‘Spirit of Humanity’ overtake all religious divide!
It is true that History has evolved from the Myths and
Legends of the past.
But it is for us to separate the wheat from the chaff.
I have done adequate research of this Ancient History.
Now I leave it to you for drawing your own conclusions
after reading this true Story!
Thank you readers for reading patiently,
From Raj Nandy of New Delhi .
ALL COPY RIGHTS  ARE WITH THE AUTHOR ONLY
Mateuš Conrad Jun 2016
preliminary explanation

before i really begin the project i have a few scatterings
of thought that made me do this, without real planning,
a different sort of impromptu that poetry's good at,
less Dionysian spur-of-the-moment with an already
completed poem entwined to a perfect ensō,
as quick as the decapitation of Mary Boleyn with the
executioner fooling her which side the swing would
be cast by taking of his hard-soled-shoes -
i mean this in an Apollonian sense - i know, sharp contrasts
at first, but the need to fuse them - i said these are
preliminary explanations, the rest will not be as haphazardly
composed, after all, i see the triangle i'm interested it
but drawing a triangle without Pythagorean explanation
i'm just writing Δ - i'll unravel what my project is
about, just give me this opportunity to blah blah for a
while like someone from an existential novel;
what beckoned me was the dichotomy of styles,
i mean, **** me, you can read poetry while in an awkward
yoga position, you can read it standing up, sitting down,
eating or whatever you want - obviously on the throne
of thrones taking a **** is preferred - the point being
what's called serious literature is so condensed for
economic reasons, font small, never-ending paragraphs,
you need an easy-chair and a bottle of cognac to get
through a chapter sometimes - or at least freshly mowed
grass in a park in summer - it's really uncomfortable because
of that, and the fact that poets hardly wish upon you
to be myopic - just look at the spacing on the page,
constantly refreshing, open-plan condos, eye-to-eye -
but it's not about that... the different styles of writing,
prose and the novel, the historical essay / encyclopedia
or a work of philosophy - what style of writing can
be best evolutionary and undermine each? only poetry.
poetry is a ballerina mandible entity, plastic skeletons,
but that's beside the point, when journalism writes history
so vehemently... the study of history writes it nonchalantly,
it's the truth, journalism is bombastic, sensationalist
every but what courting history involves -
a journalist will write about the death of a 100 people
more vehemently than a historian writing about the Holocaust...
or am i missing something? i never understood this dichotomy
of prose - it's most apparent between journalism and history...
as far as i am concerned, the most pleasurable style of
prose is involved in the history of philosophy, or learning per se,
but i'll now reveal to you the project at hand -
it's a collage... the parameters?

the subject of the collage

it weighs 1614 grams, or 3 lb. and 8 7/8ths oz.,
it's a single volume edition, published by Pimlico,
it's slightly larger than an A5 format,
3/4 inches more in length, and ~1 centimetre in
width more, it has a depth of 1 and 3/4 inches in depth,
a bicep iron-pumping session with it in bed -
i was lying with this behemoth of a book
in bed soothing out a semi-delirium state
listening to Ola Gjeilo's *northern lights

and flicking through the appendix, and i started thinking,
no would read this giant fully, would they?
the reason it's a one volume edition is because
the only place you'd read such an edition would
be in a library, at a desk, and you'd be taking snippets
out from it, quotes, authentic references points
for an essay, esp. if you were a history student,
such books aren't exactly built for leisure, as my arms
could testify... after the appendix i started flicking
through as to what point of interest would spur me
onto this audacious (and perhaps auspicious)
act of renegading against writing a novel (in the moment,
in the moment, i can't imagine myself rereading plot-lines
after a day or two, adding to it - that's a collage too,
but of a different kind - and no, i won't be plagiarising
as such, after all i'll be citing parallel, but utilising
poetry as the driving revision dynamic compared
to the chronologically stale prose of history) - i'll be
extracting key points that are already referenced and not
using the style of the author - the book in question?
Europe: a history by Norman Davies prof. emeritus
at U.C.L. - the point of entry that made me mad enough
to condense this 1335 page book (excluding the index)?

point of incision

Voltaire (or the man suspected of Guy Fawkes-likes spreading
of volatility in others) -
un polonais - c'est un charmeur; deux polonais - une
bagarre; trois polonais, eh bien, c'est la question polonaise

(one pole - a charmer, two poles - a brawl, three poles -
the polish question) - mind you, the subtler and gentler
precursor of the Jewish question, because the Frenchman
mused, and not a German, or a Russian brute...
and i can testify, two Polish immigrants in a pub,
one senior, the other minor, one with 22 years under
his belt of the integration purpose, one with 12 years,
the minor says to the senior about how Poles bring
the village life to cities, brutish drunkards and what not,
it was almost a brawl, prior to the senior was charming
a Lithuanian girl, before the minor's emphasis on
such a choice of conversation turned into idiotic Lithuanian
nostalgia about the disintegration of the Polish-Lithuanian
commonwealth, primarily due to the Polish nobility.

10,000 b.c.

looking that far back i don't know why you even
bother to celebrate the weekend -
i mean, 10,000 years back Denmark was
still attached to Sweden,
England was attached to France,
and there was a weird looking Aquatic landmass
that would become a myth of Atlantis
in the Chronicles of Norwich,
speedy ******* Gonzales with the equivalent
of south america detaching itself from Africa...
mind you, i'm sure the Carpathian ranges are
mountains. they're noted here are hills or uplands,
by categorising them as such i'm surprised
the majority of Carpathian elevations as scolded
bald rocky faced, a hill i imagine to have some
vegetation on it, not mountain goats with rock and roof
for a blacksmith in a population of one hundred...
at this point Darwinism really becomes a disorientating
pinpoint of whatever history takes your fancy,
Europe - mother of Minos, lord of Crete,
progenitrix / ******* and the leather curtains
of Zeus's harem (jealous? no, just the sarcasm
dominates the immortal museum of attachable
****** to suit the perfect elephant **** of depth
the gods sided with, by choice, excusing the Suez
duct tightening of a prostate gland... to ease the pain
upon ******* rather than *******); mentioned by Homer
the Blind tooth-fairy, the Europe and the bull,
Europoeus and the swan, same father of wisdom to mind,
on the shores of Loch Lomond -
attributes a lover to the bull, Moschus of Syracuse,
who said earring Plato cured him of where the ****
should not enter even if it shines a welcome
in the disguise of Dionysius... revisionists bound to Pompeii
named Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens Veronese
and Claude Lorrain revived the bulging bull's *******
and her mm hmm mm, too gracious my kind, hehee...
Phonecians from Tyre and Io - so too the Sibyl of ****** -
and unlike the great river civilisations of the Nile,
the Ganges, soon to be the Danubian civilisations
and gorged-out-eyes-that-once-sore-colour-but-lost-sight-of-
colours-­after-seeing-the-murk-of-the-Thames...
soon the seas overcame civilisations of the rivers,
as Cadmus, brother of the thus stated harlot said:
i bring you orbe pererrato - hieroglyphics of the cage,
but not an owl or a hawk inside it -
so let's perfect speaking to an encoding by first
rummaging into learning how to procure the perfect
forms of counting - i say left, you say I, i say right
you say II, left right left right, what do you say?
VI. bravo! the Hellenic world just crossed the Aegean
and civilisation bore twins within the cult of a lunar-mother,
Islam of Romulus and Remus, a she-wolf
a canine of the night - according to another -
tremulae sinuantur flamine vestes - or so the myth goes -
a cherished phantom of what became the fabled story
of sole Odysseus with his ears open and the remnant
sailor's ears waxed shut - as if the bankers of this world,
revelling in culprit universal fancy than nonetheless
bred the particular oddities - lest we forget,
the once bountiful call of the sirens to the oceanic
is but a fraction of what today's sirens claim to be song,
a fraction of it remains in this world, the onomatopoeia
of the once maddening song, the crude *******
arrangement of vowels bound to the jealous god's
déjà vu of the compounding second H.

from myth to perpetuating a modern sentiment

you can jump from 10,000 b.c. to the Munich Crisis
of 1938 - 9 with a snap of the fingers,
imitating quantum phenomenons like gesticulating
a game of mime with Chinese whispers necessary,
if Europe is a nymph, Naples her azure eyes,
Warsaw her heart, Sebastopol and Azoff,
Petersburg, Mitau, Odessa - these the thorns
in her feet - Paris the head, London the starched collar,
and Rome - the sepulchre
.
or... die handbuch der europaischen geschichte
notably from Charlemagne (the Illiterate)
to the Greek colonels (as apart from Constantine to
Thomas More in eight volumes, via Cambridge mid
1930s)... these and some other books of urgency
e.g. Eugene Weber's H. A. L. Fisher's, Sr. Walter Ralegh,
Jacob Bronowski... elsewhere excavated noun-obscurities
like gattopardo and konarmya had their
circas extended like shelved vegetables in modern
supermarket isles, for one reason or another...
prado, sonata sovkino also... some also mention
Thomas Carlyle (i'd make it sound like carried-away isle,
but never mind); so in this intro much theory,
how to sound politically correct, verifiable to suit
a coercion for a status quo... Europe as a modern idea,
replacing Imperum Romanun came Christendom,
ugly Venetian Pirates at Constantinople,
Barbarossa making it in pickled herring juice
in a barrel to Jerusalem... once called the pinkish-***-fluff
of Saxony, now called the pickled cucumber,
drowning in his armour in some river or Brosphorus...
alchemists, Luther and Copernicus were invited on
the same occasion as the bow-tie was invented,
apparently it was a marriage made for the Noir cinema,
beats me - hence the new concept of Europe,
reviving the idea of Imperium Romanun
meant, somehow including Judea in the Euro
championship of footie gladiator ***** whipped
narcissists, rejecting the already banished Carthage
(Libya / Tunisia by Cato's standards) and encouraging
the Huns, the Goths and the even more distant Slavs and
Vikings to accept not so much the crucifix as
the revised spine of the serpent but as the geometry of
human limbs, well, not so much that, but forgetting
Norse myths of the one-eyed and the runic alphabet
and settling for ah be'h c'eh d'ah.
dissident frenche stink abbe, charles castel de st pierre
(1658 - 1743) aand this work projet d'une paix perpetuelle
(1713) versus Питер Великий who just said:
never mind the city, the Winter Palace... i have aborted
fetus pickles in my bedroom, lava lamps i call them.
the last remaining reference to Christianity?
Nietzsche was late, the public was certain,
it was the Treaty of Utrecht, 1713, with public reference
to the republica christiana / commonwealth was last made.
to Edmund Burke: well, i too wish no exile
upon any European on his continent of birth,
but invigorate a Muslim to give birth on it
and you invigorate an exile nonetheless:
Ezra expatriate Pound / sorry, if born in eastern
europe a ***** Romanian immigrant, pristine
expatriate in western Europe, fascist radio has
my tongue and *****, so let's play a game:
Russian roulette for the Chinese cos there's
a billion of them, and no one would really mind
a missing Chow Mein... chu shoo'ah shaolin moo'n'kah!
or a cappuccino whenever you'd like to watch
classic Italian pornographic cinema with dubbing
with nuns involved... Willaim Blake and his
stark naked prophesy, pope pius II (treatise 1458)
even though Transylvania, Tharce and Hungary
shared the same phonetic encoding with diacritical
distinctions like any Frenchman, German,
or Pole at the Siege of Vienna (1683)
to counter the antagonising Ottoman - i swear historians
do this one purpose, juggle dates and head-of-state figures
prior to entering a chronology - they must first try out
a ******* carousel before playing with the toy-train...
broadcasting to a defeated Germany public, T. S. Eliot
(1945) ****** import to into Western Germany
and talk of the failing moral fabric, China laughing
after the ***** intricacies of warfare of trade,
what was once wool we wished to be silk...
instead of silk we received vegetarian wool, namely
hemp, and Amsterdam is to blame... nuke 'em!
that's how it sounds, how a historian approaches
writing a history from the annals, from circa and
circumstance and actual history, foremost the abbreviations,
the fishing hook standards, the parameters,
the limits, and then the mathematics of history,
one thing culminating into another... contra Lenin
N. S. Trubetskoy, P. N. Savitsky, G. Vernadsky
Russian at the perks of the Urals - steppe Tartar shamans
or salon pranced pretty **** boys? where to put
the intoxicant and where to put the mascara... hmm,
god knows, or by 21st calculations, a meteor;
they say the history of nations is a history of women,
then at least the history of individuation
and of men who succumb to its proliferation
is astoundingly misogynistic.
Seton-Watson, among the the tombstones too reminded
of remarkable esteem and accomplishment
with only one gravedigger to claim as father...
as many death ears as on two giraffe skeletons
stood Guizot, men of many letter and few fortunes,
or v. v., incubators of cousin ***** and none the kippah
before the arrogant saintly diminished to
a justly cause of recession, ha ha,
by nature's grace, and with true advent of her progression
as guard-worthy pre- to each pro-
and suggested courteous of the ****** fibre,
oh hey, the advent of masqueraded woofing,
a Venetian high-brow, and jealousy out of a forgotten
spirit of adventure that once was bound
to hunting and foraging... forever lost to write  history of
a king dubbed Louis the XIV...
crucibles and distastes for the state to be pleased,
once removed from Paris, forever to Angevin womb
accustomed once more, at Versailles released -
as cake be sown so too the aristocratic swan necks
for worth of mock and scorn - and the dampening rain
rattle the blood-thirst of the St. Bartholomew's Day
slaughter, to date, the rebirth of Burgundy,
of Anjou, and with the dead king presiding, to be
of no worth in judging himself a king before god or pauper...
saluer Antoine Quentin Fouquier-Tinville!
that i might too in stead rattle a few bones prior to burial
with the jaw that will laugh and chatter least
had it been to my kingly-stead a birth so lowly.
then at least in satisfactory temperament i procure a
judgement of the noble like of a *****
for an hour's worth of pistons and jarring tongues...
as if from a nobleman then indeed as if from a *****,
for who sold Europe and said: Arabia, if not the
Frenchman, the Englishman, the Spaniard?
the former colonial conquests served you not enough?
i imagine the reinstatement of Israel like
the Frankish states under Philippe-August...
precursors to a cathedral dubbed Urban the 2nd's..
there were only Norwegian motives in the Ukraine
and the black sea... Israel to me is like plagiarism
of the Frankish states of the middle-east, with Europe
slightly... oom'pah loom'pah mongolian harmonica.
some said Rudyard Kipling poems,
some said Mr. Kipling's afternoon tea cakes -
whichever made it first on Coronation St.
some also say the Teutonic barbecues -
it was a matter of example to feed them hog
and cannibalise the peasants for ourselves,
a Prussian standard worth an army standard of
rigour - Ave Maria - letztre abendessen nahrung -
mein besitzen, wenn in die Aden, i'd be the last
talking carcass...
gottes ist der orient!
gottes ist der okzident!
nord - und sudliches gelande
ruht im frieden seiner hande.

germany's lebensraum, inferiority and classification,
inferior slavs and jews, genetics and why my
hatred of Darwinism is persistent, you need
an explanatory noting to make it auto-suggestive
for Queen & Country? diseased elements,
Jewish Bolshevism, Polish patriotism,
Soviets, Teutons, the grand alliances of 1918
or 1945? Wilsonian testimony of national self-determi
CH Gorrie Sep 2012
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall
I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times."
                    - Matthew the Apostle

I
Seventy-seven bottles of gin
lie in the guts of sensuous men;
seventy-seven *I forgive you
's dissolve
in a fanatical mind's resolve.

II
What offence occurred under Saint Constantine's priggish eye?
Was it specious as a Samian's thigh?
Or Sumerians receiving alien diplomats?
Maybe somewhere far under Moscow Putin's massing cloning vats...

III
Whatever discursive and belligerent milieu
church authority finds most tried and true
seems to be the most important decider
in the future of things like the Large Hadron Collider.
Perhaps, unfoundedly, they find it funny that Higgs
(though it seems much like calling the Liberal Party "Whigs")
is a name shared by a man and a theoretical particle
(though it be libelous in any journalist's article),
and thus label similar advancements as "blasphemous".
I guess that this is what it is: believing just because.

IV
Who can know blasphemy from piousness?
Maybe all Luther did was obfuscate a prior mess.

V
Seventy-seven palm-branch-adorned, donkey-riding kings:
an automatic-ring-making-machine beleaguering proselyte rings.
Amidst the hordes, such mighty wroth:
my bloodline doth elate.
Posterity hath, though, borne aloft
my banner as the Great.

Springing forth my namesake there,
outhewn from Hellas’ opal,
that city which was brought to bear:
her name Constantinople.

For years to pass there was beholden
Thy glory all so clear.
The Great City’s holy site, golden:
there stood Hagia Sophia.

Therein however I bade Thee
to grant portent or sign.
Thou didst forsooth bequeath to me
one sacred and divine.

I stand upon the ever-brink,
Rome’s beauty lies thereunder.
Thy truth through me starteth to sink,
it striketh me like thunder.

The sun blindeth my weary eyes
as I gaze over yonder;
whereupon thou revealest me:
In this sign, you will conquer.
Emperor Constantine I, or the Great, was the first Roman Emperor to legalise Christianity, and did himself convert. It was also he who named Constantinople.

The Chi-Rho (☧) is a famous Christian symbol that was revealed to Saint Constantine in a dream. It is comprised of the first two letters of 'Christ' in Greek (ΧΡ). Therewith, in that dream, Constantine heard the message: "In this sign, you will conquer," as my last verse refers to!
You're the kid that asks how the cotton candy skies got that color
except now it's all blood red

"I guess God killed all the angels" he said

and I think:
baby my wrists are rags, ripped up rags,
and needles give you bad memories,
and my minds a black, empty, hole but it's still so ******* heavy
just a weight that no matter how much you want to say you can, you just cannot carry

and you need to stay alive
because there's no spots for angels anymore when they die
but I just can't bring myself to say it

and he knows people only remember things about me
like the fact that I like whiskey, and my suicidal tendencies

a lining of  lightbulbs
infused on the wire in my brain

he says Jesus was like any other psychopath ,
just a normal schizophrenic
and if there's a God
we pray for him to fix the problem he's created

what if heavens just like hell in the form of a maze
golden maps leading you to places you aren't any happier

acid trips into abandon attics,
blonde babes with ******* hair
and yellow teeth
cracked out, veins

complaining that the life they hated ever changed

he says I ruined the calm after the storm that no one lives to see
the ending of the bible
that no one has enough attention in them to read
Here's a poem I wrote after a conversation with my brother in which he told me that Jesus was just a mentally ill man and that Christianity would've never been spread if Constantine didn't become a Christian, which got me into thinking about my own mental illness and believes on religion. The first line came from my English teacher using the term blood orange to get us to vividly imagine something.
Kendall Mallon Apr 2013
Oh Constantine! why did
you have to see that
cruciform in the sky?
the day you won your
battle—the world lost so
much more (since then)
than you would have that
day—where would we be
without Christianity being
the dominant dogma
engrained in the minds
of so many? would the
Roman Empire not have
fallen?—Saint Peter’s
Basilica never would
Have been built; the
Colosseum and Pantheon
would have kept more of
their grandeur—more
important buildings than
a grand church more for
tourism than to house God…
take a look at the Greek
and Roman civilizations;
then look at the medieval
ages—what happened to
all that advanced thought?
shamed and oppressed by
men who took a book of
myth too seriously—over
a millennium of intellect
wasted—we picked up
where the Greeks left off
with the Enlightenment
(if not farther behind…)

Oh Constantine! why
couldn’t you have let
Christianity be content
with a few backwards cults?
I entered my poem "last night I dreamed" in the Tallenge poetry competition for May 2014, which it won, it's now in the annual competition so I'd really appreciate your support by voting for it at -  bit.ly/1pJ0N3z

You can find the poem down the line in my list of poems, but I'll paste it here again so you can check it out to see if it's worth a vote.

Last Night I dreamt
Of the Hagia Sophia.
Looking across
mighty Bosphorous.
In Istanbul, in Byzantium,
in Constantinople.
A prize of ages...........
In all her many's
real and imagined glory.
Man's desire,
God's gift.
Stone's testament
To my species' faith,
In eternity.

Though this Hagia,
My Sophia,
was one of my dreams
In a dream-city/state.
In a dream Macedon/Thrace,
Modern and ancient
Asian/Europe, European-Asia,
Turk and Greek
Jew and Russian
Balkan stars fall upon her'
Coloured light's
and bright vid-screens.
Amid stone and earth
Glass and concrete,
Granite and amythst

Huge, jewel-covered,
ancient beyond measure....
Not just Constantine's church,
though mighty church it was..
Or Mehmet's prize;
though great Mosque it became
Nor Theodosius's rock
Though he still fights for her
Somewhere in the past.
And no dry museum either,
Though museum she is..........
In reality.

Just an ancient place,
Euxine harbour
Cross-road of man and water,
Land and Gods
Magic and reality
Chozen by Hellas
Built and owned
by Christ's children
Subjects of St. Paul's
Holy empire.
Orthodox and sacred
To Greek and Rus.
No Latin hymns
We're sung in her walls.

Then won by Turk
In wars fierce and long -
So now Muhammed's shrine
Ottoman and Pasha
Jewel of a new kingdom
Built upon built
Myriad upon myriad
Pagan, Muslim, Jew, and Christian
And the Gods of Hellas
who dwell there still
Watch and wonder
at it all

But in my dream
She was made -
in the shape of a grassy mound
Many faceted, growing still
Amid structures, attached to her
spans and arches
Ancient wonder
Modern glory
Flowing and rising
Worshipped by all who
dwelt near her.
Grassed covered
Monument strewn
Stretching up to the dark -
Starry Sky
Arches
Domes
Butress'
Spires
Crosses
Cresents
Heart's desire
White rocks paved
And eternal grasses
Dewed by Hellene Gods
Whose light it saved

Last night I dreamed
Of the Hagia Sophia.......
Thank you in advance if you give me a vote.
Signs point in different directions
Art>
<Science
History^
Oddities¿

Art:
Every memory of every sunrise
Every beautiful melody
Here.
And so many images of her.
Some sweet
Some candid
Some sad.
How can we revel in the joyful
Without knowing it's opposite?
Every delicate poem
Every lyric yelled
Every painting
Every sculpture
And in all of them,
Her.

Science:
Models of molecules
Diagrams of data
Sketches
(Where are the equations?)
Math is forbidden in this museum.
Lectures
Theories
All gathering dust.

History:
Names.
The greatest of men and women
Julius Caesar
Constantine
Marc Anthony
Cleopatra
Rosa Parks
Elinor Roosevelt
Patton
Churchill
Kennedy
MLK

Maps and charts
Famous cities of old
Sparta
Alexandria
The halls of Montezuma
Constantinople
Babylon

Oddities:
Phantom Kangaroos
Homemade Bazooka
"That made the news?"
And Bubblegum the Baluga

The Raven Empress
Flaming mattress
Sharks with lasers
Pandas with Tasers
What the heck just happened?
Last Night I dreamt
Of the Hagia Sophia.
Looking across
mighty Bosphorous.
In Istanbul, in Byzantium,
in Constantinople.
A prize of ages...........
In all her many's
real and imagined glory.
Man's desire,
God's gift.
Stone's testament
To my species' faith,
In eternity.

Though this Hagia,
My Sophia,
was one of my dreams
In a dream-city/state.
In a dream Macedon/Thrace,
Modern and ancient
Asian/Europe, European-Asia,
Turk and Greek
Jew and Russian
Balkan stars fall upon her'
Coloured light's
and bright vid-screens.
Amid stone and earth
Glass and concrete,
Granite and amythst

Huge, jewel-covered,
ancient beyond measure....
Not just Constantine's church,
though mighty church it was..
Or Mehmet's prize;
though great Mosque it became
Nor Theodosius's rock
Though he still fights for her
Somewhere in the past.
And no dry museum either,
Though museum she is..........
In reality.

Just an ancient place,
Euxine harbour
Cross-road of man and water,
Land and Gods
Magic and reality
Chozen by Hellas
Built and owned
by Christ's children
Subjects of St. Paul's
Holy empire.
Orthodox and sacred
To Greek and Rus.
No Latin hymns
We're sung in her walls.

Then won by Turk
In wars fierce and long -
So now Muhammed's shrine
Ottoman and Pasha
Jewel of a new kingdom
Built upon built
Myriad upon myriad
Pagan, Muslim, Jew, and Christian
And the Gods of Hellas
who dwell there still
Watch and wonder
at it all

But in my dream
She was made -
in the shape of a grassy mound
Many faceted, growing still
Amid structures, attached to her
spans and arches
Ancient wonder
Modern glory
Flowing and rising
Worshipped by all who
dwelt near her.
Grassed covered
Monument strewn
Stretching up to the dark -
Starry Sky
Arches
Domes
Butress'
Spires
Crosses
Cresents
Heart's desire
White rocks paved
And eternal grasses
Dewed by Hellene Gods
Whose light it saved

Last night I dreamed
Of the Hagia Sophia.......
Dream Poem April 4 2014

I entered this poem in the Tallenge Poetry Contest for May 2014, which amazingly enough, It won first prize, its now in the annual competition so if you could vote for it at bit.ly/1pJ0N3z I would be really grateful.

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