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we did not Dye in vain!
by michael r. burch

(from “songs of the sea snails”)

though i’m just a slimy crawler,
     my lineage is proud:
my forebears gave their lives
     (oh, let the trumps blare loud!)
so purple-mantled Royals
     might stand out in a crowd.

i salute you, fellow loyals,
     who labor without scruple
as your incomes fall
     while deficits quadruple
to swaddle unjust Lords
     in bright imperial purple!

Originally published by The American Dissident

Notes: In ancient times the purple dye produced from the secretions of purpura mollusks (sea snails) was known as “Tyrian purple,” “royal purple” and “imperial purple.” It was greatly prized in antiquity, and was very expensive according to the historian Theopompus: “Purple for dyes fetched its weight in silver at Colophon.” Thus, purple-dyed fabrics became status symbols, and laws often prevented commoners from possessing them. The production of Tyrian purple was tightly controlled in Byzantium, where the imperial court restricted its use to the coloring of imperial silks. A child born to the reigning emperor was literally porphyrogenitos ("born to the purple") because the imperial birthing apartment was walled in porphyry, a purple-hued rock, and draped with purple silks. Royal babies were swaddled in purple; we know this because the iconodules, who disagreed with the emperor Constantine about the veneration of images, accused him of defecating on his imperial purple swaddling clothes!

Keywords/Tags: royal, purple, imperial, Tyrian, Byzantium, porphyry, swaddling, clothes, porphyrogenitos, mollusks, sea snails, royalty, kings, lords, emperors, popes
aisha Oct 2017
It was the colour of the sky when you decided to leave that morning
at 6.38 am

It was the colour of my left wrist when I held it a little too tightly
because I missed having your skin on mine

It was the colour of my veins when I cut open my skin with my nails
because you used to leave heart-shaped fingerprints on it

It was the colour of my heart when I beat it up a little too often
since you walked out
because I blamed myself when you turned your back on me
But purple was and still my favourite colour
Stella Cleere Nov 2015
Often we have disagreed, but now I refuse to hold my tongue
and shall raise pen to meet pen, watch the words clash in the air,
for how could you grant such a way of living superiority?
When the sensual and the intellect can meet as one
in capturing a young man's beauty in such a way
that he leaps from the page,
causing the reader to sail away away too.

But even if we saw eye to eye, as shortsighted as each other,
lack of intellect be ******.
I could not wish to travel there
to a place devoid of him, of all that encompasses him,
devoid of green eyes and jet hair,
a space within which his voice does not resonate
and participate in such an unequal trade
as to exchange immortality for a life without him.

Revered as you are, I do not agree.
I shall champion the dearth of intellect,
revere in all things sensual, as this is all I am fit for in your eyes,
but I shall be in love
and it is this I choose
over an infinite rhapsody of lifetimes.
LBG Jun 2014
If letters spell out words:

Si byzantium (si somos vampirosos y hacemos cosas dastricas, y nos pela, somos lo que somos, con cusualidad) que haremos con que simpáticos seremos, elegancia de acuerdo, nectalina y recuerdos suficientes y sufficientas que ere el ere, sin ere entiende. Ere ex: pájaro volador con tres alas y una dicha fragancia elevada de recitar con exacta voz el recuerdo de silbar.

— The End —