NaPoWriMo2021 Day 12


Valens Flavius on a Roman Gold Coin

The prompt was called “Past and Future.” This prompt challenged me to write a poem using at least one word/concept/idea from each of two specialty dictionaries: Lempriere’s Classical Dictionary and the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction.

I learned some interesting history and some lessons for the present day. Hopefully you will, too.

Time to Pay Attention

Valens should have heeded
the advice of the wise Mary Oliver:
He should have paid attention.

The Goths of old deserved
no lenity; they were as savage
and insidious as the Imperial army.

Marching behind a facade
of obsequiousness, they
bewildered and bewitched.

It was Valens who encouraged
them to make depredations
on the good people of Thrace—

to appease them in some way. So
perhaps he deserved what happened.
Alas, his eyes were opened—

too late. His men tried to hide him,
but Valens’ cave was found.
The Dirty Goths burned him alive.

The Force no longer covered
the likes of Valens; though fierce,
he was no longer impenetrable.

He should have listened
to wise Mary’s instructions
on living a life.

He should have paid attention.

-a draft poem by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

Let me know what you think in the comments below. Share the love, write a poem, appreciate a good friend. Each moment is a new beginning.