The Ordering of Time
The road to Ephesus was flat and open-aired,
a lined mixture of blue and earth, mounded cairns
rising from the open fields, like bee-hives a man
could walk into and disappear. And why travel there
but for a heritage of history? Native people still
tilling the biblical earth, airing their laundry on lines,
the empty forms of their bodies waving in air.
Land by itself always appears primitive
until we encounter on the threaded paths there
a rise of buildings, an ordering of the times
when they are complete. We pilgrimage to Ephesus
to witness the past and measure the present.
For a place to sense the saints of perseverance,
we leave our too-civilised countries to experience
a land, a field, a time in its journey. We leave our lives
and go to read the earth, to remember any small heritage
of who came before us and who long brought us here.
The dusty road to Ephesus was a boat, a bus,
and walking, was blue hours of water and earth,
was winding and tiring, but worth the beautiful ruins,
a true word, a lasting witness, travel the first-fruit
of our heritage. In the ancient shell of Ephesus,
beyond the resting amphitheater, the cell of Saint Paul,
the best building standing remains the whitened library.
Nicholas Samaras is the author of two poetry collections – Hands of the Saddlemaker, which won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award, and the extensive American Psalm, World Psalm (2014, Ashland Poetry Press) which contains 150 poems to emulate the Biblical psalms. His poetry also appears in The Turning Aside: The Kingdom Poets Book of Contemporary Christian Poetry. He lives with his family in West Nyack, New York.
Posted: 24 October 2018