Among the riverbed stones
by alex kannis
Two thousand years ago a vein the contents of which were extracted by Gallic slaves whose stoicism was taken by their Roman masters as gospel speaking tomes on their nature on their character. Their simple selves and minds. Roman sandals as trod broke beneath them half curled fingers and splintered the wrists of dying men whose lives were a pledge to something indomitable even as their landsmen were bled dry by gladii their women and children raped and mutilated and enslaved. Such a vein fed the forges that burned white hot molten fashioned dangerous by a mastery never to be repeated again. The gladii the potential of which is matched once more now will wound the earth itself in waves patterning outwards over and over like those endless armies of antiquity that strung purview for days till night when the dust borne in their thrumming wake smote the milk of sky left the ink. Summoning the bones of blue eyed chattel from the sleep of idle thousands. Drank rivers idle and crossed deserts. Falling from the sky. A gleam for every helm and pike end and armament. Turning every gladius of the underworld to dust. Dust and departure. In waves
over the Adriatic, that met the Aegean and strung it too like a trinket, glittering and many, strung the ranks in hoplite with their bronze and marble and idealism, ranks kept all way to the cradle of civilization, now but dust, too.
Alex Kannis is a writer, designer, and organises the bimonthly spoken word event Ships in the Night.