Bignor

Two Roman villas
Two Mondays past
we’ve visited and found several ways
to lose ourselves here
with plenty of cheer
a cure for any malaise

Bignor this time
Mosaics again
under thatch to par excellence
Discovered when farming
at the time quite alarming
in the nineteenth century perchance

Had the place to ourselves
with no-one else here
so we took time to take it all in
Inspired here to capture
in awe and some rapture
this Bignor palace will bring

We took lots of pictures
with details to use
in things that we make when back home
Sculptures and drawings
of mosaic floorings
that antiquity to us has shown

©Jemverse

Photo – detail from a 2nd century mosaic floor, Bignor, Sussex, UK – Jempics

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Fishbourne

And so it was with Romans
Fishbourne finally today
saw Sal and I this morning
venture out and come this way
England’s mosaic glory
tessellated on the ground
tells a tale of history
when in the sixties found
And now this treasure prospers
revealed for all to see
Especially today for
my soulmate Sal and me

©Jemverse

Laid in AD 160, this is the mosaic floor of one of the main dining rooms in the north wing of Fishbourne Roman palace, near Chichester in West Sussex. Discovered by accident in 1960 during the laying of a mains water pipe, excavations have since revealed it to be the largest Roman palace in the UK. [Photo – Jempics]

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)]

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.

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

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