Traveler, you seem to me blind. Permit me to be all of your senses for you while you rest here. If you would, lift the eyes of your mind, be willing to see and I will be a light to you. Listen now to words and let them wash over you; stand like a rock in the breakers, for distant, deep blue and ancient, as a thing older than the sky, lies the sea.
Serene, unshaken by war, it murmurs melodically, playing with dead men, toying with broken armour; washing clean the shining spearheads strewn by the hundreds on the shore which look like teeth of some sea monster. All have been borne and gifted to her by the river. The waves adorn the shore with an array of glittering bronze like a goddess flirting with vanities. After claiming these things of man unchallenged it stretches, reaching out beyond the sight of man to comprehend the world.
Look closer about you, take a breath. Here is a field once green and thriving but now a hoof-torn muddied field, littered with corpses of horses and men. The earth is steaming still from heated battle and blood and the angry glare of the sun.
The heavy tang of rusted iron rises with the fog where the swords of deity contended; black mire oozes in great pools and dark red streams mingle with them. Even the blood of gods has fallen here in this contest of fate and the earth greedily draws it in.
Listen . . . listen. No sound of the ocean reaches here.
Following the clouds rising, dark with the scent of blood, crows call to their brothers, screeching as bone broken by bronze or steel shivering on stone, summoning one another to the dark feast of the dead.
The slain lie as wheat newly cut and the harvesters gather.
The dogs are coming.
Look up now. Look up.
As the daylight recedes in a sanguine glow, the sky is unevenly divided – the east still is light. Nature is defied.
A burning city shudders and groans in a great ruddy smoke, flares and flames as though it were another sun contending with Apollo’s chariot. Ghosts of the dead prophecy there, petition their cruel gods for rest and the ancient altars are broken.
And born again in bloodshed, the world grows silent in the sunrise of Rome as the sun falls on fallen Troy.