Poems

Split

Oct 2017    

Named after the broom
that in summer turns golden
and gilds the land with the texture
of opulence
and the aroma of romance
stirring the springs of love.
Here cherries and grapes
of refined flavour
relished by all fruit lovers
flourish abundantly.

Yet chronicled in the folios
of Roman times
the murky visage of a demagogue,
Emperor Diocletian,
who divided the Empire
into East and West
before up taking residence at Split
where he built a palatial castle
and declaring himself as the Son of Jupiter
demanded that all bow down to worship him
or be tormented and decapitated.

But the followers of Jesus Christ
stood firm in their faith
preferring death in the name of the Lord
to worshipping the Emperor.
Thus multitudes of Christians
were relentlessly martyred
to satisfy the bloodlust
of this vilest of men.

Vilified in death by succeeding generations
who expunged all his monuments
and erased every trace of his detested visage
which was in truth repulsive,
his preserved remains were unceremoniously
discharged into the sea.

The splendid castle homestead that he built
and the viaduct
were repossessed by commoners
and served as the nucleus
around which the city grew.

The temple that he built
to deify himself
has become the bastion of the Christian Church.

Thus the wheels of time
have shown once again
that out of evil,
Godliness will shine through
and from the blood of martyrs
a great Church is birthed.

 

Editor’s Note: Split is the name of a city in Croatia, known for the fortress-like complex at its centre, Diocletian’s Palace, erected by the Roman emperor in the 4th century.

Dr Oliver Seet –
is a member of Wesley Methodist Church and a Board Director of the Metropolitan YMCA.

Picture by Bakusova/Bigstock.com

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