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Theatre of Death: The Roman Coliseum

My latest photography book. Experience the shadowy gloom of the Roman Coliseum through the lens of my camera. In this collection of photographs, I combine visual imagery with my own poetic narrative. Some have said that the result is a compelling collection of Black and White photos accompanied by words that penetrate the heart. 4 copy

The extended poem contained in this book follows:

Enter the gallows of death
Whereupon human depravity will delight in your demise.

What were your thoughts, oh wretched one
as you approached the arena
to the sound of thunderous roar
not of beasts
but of ravenous hominids starved for blood?

Where was their humanity hiding?

The theatre of death
is now a carcass

It was never alive
Blocks of stone were carved
and laid on a foundation of human misery,
serving human degeneracy
Its very foundation was death!

A darkness looms over the place where sightseers come.
Was this the glory or decadence of Rome?
Can they hear the echoes of desperate screams
transcending the barriers of time
still resonating and bouncing off the pillars of stone?
Are they any different today from the spectators of the past?
Would they pay to see the horrors relived?

Unsettled clouds loom overhead,
Clouds frozen in time
drenched in sorrow over those who cheered,
and those who died…

Somewhere behind the clouds
The Sun is hiding
the air is damp and bleak
with intermittent hammering rain
wishing to baptize this monument of death.

Will history ever teach us?

The arrogance of mighty empires
leads to self destruction
and yet they come,
they see,
they carry-on unscathed,
tiny specks of humanity
deaf to the echoes and horrors of the past.

I pause for a moment with my Beloved
I ask her not to smile for this one,
as I point the Leica towards her face
“this is not a place for smiles” – I tell her,
as she gazes into the lens,
Her eyes conveying a forsaken desolation.

As they peered beyond the walls
Did they ever dream of liberation?

I mourn for the fate of those whose lives were taken here,
some taken in the arena
some taken by the relentless labor of slavery.

And what about those who professed a Christian or Jewish faith,
Did they meet their deaths with courage?
Was the love of the great IAM burning in their hearts?
Was the price to pay too high?

In the midst of the arena,
did the moment of peace and surrender come to them?
Could they see their freedom beyond the walls?
Could they sense their freedom in the sky above?

These are the corridors of death,
the cells where beasts and prisoners were kept,
except for the ghosts of the past,
they are empty now.

Who dares to walk this place by night?
The Flavian Amphitheatre,
an engineering marvel,
a dark stain on the history of the ancient world.

When will we learn to say no to evil?
When will humanity step out of the arena of death and destruction?

In the midst of the gloom
Light begins to penetrate this theatre of death,
it cannot be contained!

There is a God in Heaven and Earth,
the Lord of Life who wants to dance in our hearts,
dance in the hearts of all those willing to let go of their Ego’s,
willing to be free of their fears,
willing to see the spark of Divine Love,
in all of God’s creation.

We are all on the journey of life.
We need not be consumed
by the evil in the world,
We need not enter the gallows of death.

May they rest in peace,
those wretched souls,
victims of Emperors gone mad
slaves to power and evil.
May they rest in peace…

One comment on “Theatre of Death: The Roman Coliseum

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