TP logo

| Books | Music | Events | New work | Contact & ordering

Lay for the Day
28th September

1687: the Ottoman Turks occupying Athens surrender to a besieging Venetian army. Two days earlier, disastrously, Venetian artillery had opened fire on the Parthenon, which the Turks were using as a powder magazine, and the 2,000-year-old temple was badly damaged. The Parthenon was devoted to the goddess of wisdom, Athena. Its name means “the place of the virgin”.

Love is brightness still
though hurt come winding,
is peace that once was rage.

No worm nor wardrobe dust will kill
the flesh within the coat, close-binding
flesh: one lifetime and no age.

All barren colonnades, all
grey gardens
I walk with love. Tall
diamond hardens in my flaking bones.

No ruined place shall hold her small
white arm
though giants built to bird-call,
fall, and harm, and sky-sheared stones.


John Gibbens
from Simples

The Lay Reader
: an archive of the poetic calendar