Fragments of a Letter, Found Among the Ruins

Fragments of a Letter, Found
Among the Ruins

Editor’s Preface:
While out on expedition, searching for
Materials for my new book, I came upon these
Fragments in an alcove of a crumbling room tucked
Into the craggy corner of an ancient city, long since
Diminished by time. The text you now see I went
To great pains to re-create. It was faint, blotched, and
Scrawled on the back of a moldy piece of animal
Hide. While by no means an expert, I translated
The foreign tongue myself.

Fragment 5

Alexander, I look back to that day
When I took an arrow, shot
On foreign lands, out beyond those hazy lines
Of our Empire.

Elephants and wild men –
The humming of jungles –
The stomp stomp of barbarians
And beasts – memories, Alexander,
Wet like the Earth wet,
When hit by roaring rains.

Fragment 68

… With screams on Godless nights, razing
People, and towns: Tyre.
The knot at Gordium. Persepolis…
Pounding and pounding the rock steps in
That dry, deserted desert land.

[The next 5 lines are undecipherable]

Wine and fire,
Giggles in royal rooms,
The sweet hiss of flame.

Fragment 1

Alexander, I dealt with death
Alone, sought out solace
Along dank river banks I could not
Pronounce the names of… [these words lost]
White, barren peaks,
Bored Prometheus rattling his chains
On mountains where no clear path
Breaks through. Alexander, your dreams…

Fragment 112

Like violent fits in the night. Us biting
Chunks of wood to ease the pain
Of worlds more beautiful than fires struck
On white Egyptian sands, a journey just begun.

Maps without borders. Empires
Of dust and ice. Sweat
Blooming on brows.

Fragment 3

Alexander, I once whispered stories
To fires that light the night.

[The rest of this fragment worn away]

Published as part of the Poets United Poetry Pantry

13 thoughts on “Fragments of a Letter, Found Among the Ruins

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) August 9, 2015 / 8:50 pm

    I love the way you present this.. The fragments forces me to find a narrative, much like a finding a pattern in the constellations of a star.. Brilliantly done with those connection to myth and history..


  2. Sherry Blue Sky August 10, 2015 / 12:06 am

    This is a very intriguing piece of writing. Very cool concept.


  3. Sumana Roy August 10, 2015 / 2:53 am

    the world hasn’t changed much from the times of classical antiquity…the same aggression, the same rage and the same lust still ruling….an absorbing read….


  4. totomai August 10, 2015 / 8:57 am

    some pieces of history will soon be discovered or re-discovered. interesting format – the arrangement of fragments shows that nothing can be in an exact order


  5. Sanaa Rizvi August 10, 2015 / 10:13 am

    Such an intriguing piece 🙂
    Beautifully penned!


  6. Mary August 10, 2015 / 12:39 pm

    Ah, there really is so much mystery here! Makes me want to know the entire story.


  7. Jae Rose August 10, 2015 / 1:12 pm

    Such an interesting and enticing poem…i so want to know what is in those indecipherable portions – the best parts of any story are always left to our imagination


  8. 1sojournal August 10, 2015 / 1:50 pm

    Intriguing format. Hints that lead the reader back to his/her own imagination. Reminded me of swiftly flickering moon shadows, or partial echoes never quite discerned, but wondered about.



  9. Grace August 10, 2015 / 4:08 pm

    I specially like fragment 112 ~ Thanks for sharing ~


  10. Truedessa August 11, 2015 / 1:10 am

    This was very interesting…I was spellbound by all the fragments, but #3 really spoke to me..whispered story to the fires that light the night. There is something mystical about gathering around a fire sharing stories.


  11. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade) August 11, 2015 / 6:25 am

    Oh oh oh, I ADORE this. Hephaestion? I want it to be Hephaestion!


  12. glmeisner August 11, 2015 / 12:50 pm

    Yes a find like that is fantastic. I love the feeling these have. Great introduction poem.


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