The Cradle of Civilisation


Photo by Pete Denton. Collective poem edited by Antonio Martínez Arboleda. Contributions collated with thanks from the audience participating in the February 2020 Transforming with Poetry using




The parade is ready!


Plates like moons

modern mugs

with classic pictures

to show to neighbours

or give as gifts



Julio Caesar

eying up his glory


Tiny soldiers

in plumed helmets


Heads of ancient

Roman gods


Only 5 euros!


Lions, gladiators

also available

Sturdy forearm

bronzed in the sun

Latin phrases

For everyday use.

Room still for more

if someone has more shelves!



a montage

of time layered

like a sumptuous

birthday cake.

Encapsulated ages

memories of ruins

grand and orderly

past glorious power

Seize the day


your culture here.


But watch the man

with his hand in the box.


Oh, holly mess

of the free market

Blue sky overhead

mute and unquestioning

A bell tower in the horizon

Jesus wept

among his Roman captors

Blue skies are free


With thanks to


Screenshot 2020-03-27 at 16.15.43

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