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Beneath the Ashes

poet Anonymous

Poetry Contest

Write the final thoughts of someone who died in Pompeii
Write from the perspective of someone who died in Pompeii…their final moments and thoughts.  You create your character.  Give them voice and depth.  I want to feel what they felt in those last seconds.  Who they were, to some extent.  I’ve included an example here to give a bit of an idea of what I’m looking for.

New writes
2 poems per writer
Extra points if you make me dig out a thesaurus  

Fallen Sky

the years I’ve spent
beneath this mountain
in these streets
and these fields
the men I've loved
the nights of pleasure
all the memories
I have made
are now crumbling
by the ash clouds
and the rumbling
through the night
they tell us
to take shelter
somewhere within
cling to hope
save our lives
but I
will not be buried
deep beneath
the fallen sky
let me stand
and face it
meet my time
on my own terms
I will hold
my head up
and die
within the flames


Jennifer Michael McCurry
Tyrant of Words
United States
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I dig this.... Be back!

Guardian of Shadows
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I, Illona late of Pompeii

a token day where mercy fled
highborn, nobles and of the clothes
born of plenty, of joyous sunny day
gluttons and gormandisers
fill their bowels with carnality
both mouths filled and full

far be the thoughts of sorrow
bouquet of grief on the morrow

hearken unto me
for I, Illona servant of the Oracle
of the third eye see
fire shall spew and blood,
shall moist the sands
darken the distant stars

repent ye of thy iniquities and wickedness
as they are prologue to harsh ends
gather thy ships and horses
let all flee from this city
for it shall be buried with the tide
from above, wrath as spilled wine

None listen, derision merely, none hear me
even the mangy cur curled its lips at me
die they shall, a prophecy fulfilled

behold, the fist of the gods arise
in columns of smoke
catapulted fiery fire with rocks
behold before ye all unbelievers
they who died today
shall weep with woe

terror dreadful weeping lost
in the roar erupted roar

Hell agape the silence bequeath
settled blanket of soft gray sand
ten feet deep, thy forced slumber
bleeding unrequited life
had ye heeded me
Sol might shine on thy children

I walk weeping on the ruins
of Pompeii, a grey ghost
mourning yesteryear's folly.

Tyrant of Words
United States
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Oh deafening roar
run my child I soon will foll…
Madonna in ash

Jennifer Michael McCurry
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United States
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Hearts in Pompeii

And still ..
As still we we will turn
To statues bourne from lost
In time
And loss of time
From loved ones
And lovers
Held through particles spent
The Suffering of so many
A portait of living
.... suffocated by this
Savage and fiery sent eternal dust
And still...
He holds her...
Around trembling curve
As her round breasts heave
....out and in...
.... a grand display
Cages of beautiful torture
And my heart beneath
Mine own
....in same tortured need
But all that holds me?
This last breath saved
In futile urge
To call out his name. ....

Written by Calamity.of Gin

Tyrant of Words
United States
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Gaea what was done
that thy wrath be enkindled?
petrified pleading

jade tiger
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Pompeii's Winter

Sounds of my frantic sandal'd footsteps
on the flat-stone and gravel road with
each lunge of my linen-clad body,
in agony from efforts and gasps.

This citizen's grown fat from the wine;
a bottle a day, respectably,
and out of shape for this sort of clime.
My slave's in Herculaneum by now.

The fumes are sucked deep into my lungs,
(an artisan's bellows of his craft,
who's hands shaped clay for the kiln's fire)
as sky blackens day in its nightmare.

While those of us who still can, jostle
like jockeys, racing closer towards the
horseshoe bay's shoreline where boats await.

While overhead, the solemn silent
silt of ash floating down, white as snow.

Images of all I've known become
smothered into just what I know now.

Activities of a day ago
are greying over with blizzard ash:

My world of frescos & friezes and
tiles in mosaics of elegant
seascapes & landscapes, erotica,
of naked couples in their orgies.

Pultritude, and bacchanalia,
and of gods & goddesses whose stance,
statuesque, encircle the gardens'
flicker from sun & moonlit reflections.

And what of all these of our Pompeii?
Of baths, and brothels, and markets with
bounty from fertile fields and the sea?

I dare not look over my shoulder,
or slow my need to escape by one
moment's hesitation if only
to take in through my dilated panic

a scene of the behemoth belching
its geysers, and sulfur reeking lava
streams glowing from their hellish furnace.

Yet I take it all in despite my
denial to believe any of it!

The roar and rumble, the quaking earth,
the cacophony of men, and women,
many with babes in arms; their piercing
screams, shouts and oath-hurled trajectories.

And then they - I - ALL of us arrive,
tumbling down to the sea that pushes us
back with its broken waves even as
ash rains down in its relentless winter.

It makes no sound!
It muffles our arm-extended prayers.

I follow others who turn from the
shore and run to the warehouses that
haven't yet begun to smolder.

Haven from the ash as we huddle
for hours among the sealed clay amphora
filled with last year's harvest of wine's lust.
I startle in the realization:

The vineyards!  By the gods!
Now all is truly lost O Bacchus!


Poetry Accident
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Last Celebration

Celebration hung in the air
perhaps the last for this one
replaced by ash drifting down
from sky's embrace of fiery doom
the sun had turned round again
in same place as my birth
now hidden behind the gloom
lost from sight by mountain plumes.

It seemed the gods had shown their grace
in comfort felt and wealth embraced
with incense offered in glad thanks
for blessings found until this day
now the soot mocks twisting pleas
from same incense pressed to ask
for the mercies none shall have
as benefits are turned to dust.

In this house I was born
cloistered rooms kept me warm
mighty walls to keep the wolf
at bay when moon was on the hook
no longer cover for the child
grown to nearly move along
to a place beyond safeguards
instead the ground will be my home.

The cheers are mute as ground rumbles
robbed from ear by blasting noise
happy wishes have fled from voice
to be replaced by mountain's roar
these last sounds were my world
as light retreated in front of fire
by lava's march to party's stop
this birthday party will be my last.

2016, Sean Green. All Rights Reserved, 20161123.


poet Anonymous

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poet Anonymous

It's fucking hot!


poet Anonymous

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poet Anonymous

Please post comments on the writers' personal pages and keep this area clear for entries. Thank you ☺

poet Anonymous

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Guardian of Shadows
United States
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I heard it,
before they did, I
heard it—

Ultrasonic pings beneath
the surface… I
heard it.

Master did brush off my
heard it….earsplitting
rumblings in the grass,
in the land.

My head buzzed in
franticness—it’s coming, I
heard it.  “Master,
won’t you come? We
must leave

I couldn’t leave him.
I can’t leave him.
I heard it…oh it hurt,
the sound;  I’ll never
forget it.  “Master, come!”

And I lay, twisted, a
petrified hull of
ash, where
I lost hold of Master’s
robes in
the lava flow.

Fire of Insight
United States
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Huddled like fetuses
beneath accumulating ashes
Lava Lava La
Kissing our asses goodbye

Raining hellfire
sulfuric noxious gasses
Lava Lava La
An unpleasant way to die

Christmas in Pompeii
Petrified, can't run away
Lava Lava Lava Lava La La La

From deep in the underground
comes a burning sensation
Lava Lava La La Lava La La

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