History in the Blood

Greek bireme, c. 500 B.C. Photo: Wikipedia.org.

In the arms of rowers, today,
runs the blood of the history
of the Phoenicians
who oared their way
trading figs, olives, wine, cedar,
the length of the Mediterranean,
Sidon and Tyre to Gibraltar
beginning around 700 B.C.E.,
work-a-day rowers
who muscle-powered forward
an entire civilization,
their ships biremes,
twin levels of oarsmen,
port and starboard,
swifting their ships
through the oft treacherous
Middle Sea, ancient rowers
who powered forward the world
with the alphabet we speak to this day,
ancient rowers whose power
oars through the arms of rowers, today.

Philip Kuepper
17 July 2014

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