Gone

 

When I was last in Cardiff
the old hotel was there
Boarded up and derelict
yet still with life to share

But now it’s been demolished
leaving just an empty space
Its bygone age has left us
with a sadness in its place

So I’m pleased I took a photo
when I was last down here
For a memory to capture
something which I now hold dear

©Jemverse

Photos – Jempics. [Top – just the ‘Old Custom House at the top of Bude Street in Cardiff now (November 2018); Bottom – the ‘Old Custom House’ with the adjacent derelict ‘York Hotel’ (1890) still in situ (March 2017)]

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The Wellington

Moored now at the Temple Stairs
where she’s been since forty-eight
The Wellington lies white and proud
A museum ship of late

Rescuing survivors
during World War two
Where she acted as an escort
in the Pacific ocean, blue

But now she lies serene, at rest
In London on the Thames
Where people get historic tours
in parties now and then

©Jemverse

Photo – (stock) HQS Wellington

The ‘Wellington’ is the last surviving example of a Second World War escort ship in Britain. For most of the war. she carried out convoy escort duties, steaming over 240,000 nautical miles, providing escort to 103 convoys and rescuing some 500 survivors from lifeboats. Since 1948 she’s been moored at Temple Stairs on the Thames and is now owned by ‘The Wellington Trust’. As the HQ of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners, she has been renamed ‘HQS Wellington’.

A split down the middle

14 of 16 in the Jemverse ‘Venetian Vistas’ series

Split was a tale of two cities
spread across differing times
Roman columns interspersed
reused with modern lines
Ingenuity prevailed as
walls within walls lay
Preserving parts of history
to see another day

The Diocletian’s Palace
and marbled passageways within
hid secrets in the alcoves
to be found where light was dim
There were many little cafes
and restaurants and bars
Which with the Roman history
made Split spectacular

©Jemverse

Photo – Modern day buildings inside the columns of the Roman Emporer Diocletian’s palace built at the end of the third century A.D. Today around two thirds of the modern day city of Split in Croatia is built inside the old palace and garrison – Jempics

The archway in the photo is the one at the centre of the sea-facing facade of the original palace – see thumbnail below.

Gondolier

10 of 16 in the Jemverse ‘Venetian Vistas’ series

Our gondolier sang songs
as he took us into shade
Cool waters in our gondola
combined with serenade

The ancient walls around us
and narrow waterways
Venetian history spoke to us
on this happiest of days

It was beautiful, exquisite
and we had a moment there
Tears of joy from what we saw
in Venice everywhere

©Jemverse

Photo – Gondolas, Venice, Italy – Jempics

Zadar

8 of 16 in the Jemverse ‘Venetian Vistas’ series

The Roman forum’s vista
looks to ‘Jadransko More’
Its marbled stone-clad ruins
On the Dalmatian shore
Where Zadar’s Saint Donatus
with Byzantine aplomb
borrowed Roman architecture
to build its walls upon

Topped Roman columns
vandelised when not a crime
Rebuilt in the ninth century
to cylindrical design
And now both serve to wonder
with their different history
In Zadar in Croatia
On the Adriatic sea

©Jemverse

Photo – St Donatus Church (9th century) on the Roman forum (1st century), Zadar, Croatia – Jempics

The foundations of the church were build using re-purposed Roman columns etc from the then defunct forum (see thumbnail below). Built around 950 A.D., it was used as a place of worship until 1798

 

Korcula

5 of 16 in the Jemverse ‘Venetian Vistas’ series

To Korcula by tender
Inside the city wall
I climbed the tower of St Marks
some thirty metres tall

The view across the rooftops
full of terracotta red
took my breath away, although
the drop filled me with dread

But I made it back down safely
to walk streets of ancient stone
on this island in Croatia
Marco Polo once called home

©Jemverse

Photo – Korcula island – Dalmation coast – Croatia – Jempics

Korcula island has no dock big enough for cruise ships, so we went ashore via tender. The fortified town of the same name is encircled by high stone walls of Venetian origin in the centre of which is the cathedral of St Mark with its 30-metre high tower. It’s believed that Marco Polo was born on the island

Oasis

Sat in St Nicholas’ churchyard
high up on the hill
overlooking Brighton
with all around me still

Sipped a bold, strong coffee
the sunshine breaking through
with history around me
which from my past I knew

There’s change around about of course
new buildings stark and cold
yet Brighton’s essence here remains
quintessentially old

A haven with a tranquil peace
God’s hand is present here
A little bit of heaven
with the bustling city near

©Jemverse

Photo – St Nicholas’ Churchyard, Brighton, East Sussex, UK (founded 1091) – Jempics

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