I remember the faint smell of sulphur and sea water
in the shadow of the volcano
which poured out its wrath
of fire and magma; Urns of the Gods spilling over
from the very depths of hell.

I remember the uneven stone streets
carved out by carts and chariot wheels
villas, bath and whore houses; frescos half finished
in expensive red paint from crushed beetles
on walls surrounding empty silent rooms

I remember the skeletons huddled in their houses
unearthed from their graves for my prying eyes
and the rapid whirring of camera lenses
for proof of their existence, saying to me
“We are all nothing but carbon and bone.”

I remember a dog with matted fur
lounging in the shade of a fallen arch
staring in the way that dogs sometimes stare
then shaking its head, making me wonder if my beliefs
were nothing more than old wive’s tales.


About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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4 Responses to Pompeii

  1. We humans are powerless before the forces of Nature.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. beetleypete says:

    I have never been there, but it has a way of haunting us, that’s for sure.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Memarge says:

    My husband and I visited Herculanium rather than Pompeii when we were there last. The day was slightly overcast and cool. I felt somewhat sad that day but now I have more of a detached feel for what a terrible way to die.

    Liked by 1 person

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