You were with us then

You were with us then
in Turkey, as we stood
in the amphitheatre,
came through the Arch
of the Gladiators
and heard the cheering
of the crowds.

You were with us then
in Turkey, as we climbed
to our places high
above the arena
and witnessed the chariots
in our mind and choked
in the dust of flying hooves.

You were with us then
in Turkey, on the highest hill
and marvelled
at the skills of Hittites
and Romans
and bathed in their
sophistication.

Yes, you were with us then
in Turkey.

Roman Remains

by Angela Prew

Why did the Romans build so high?
Was it in defence? The search for water
gushing from those mountain springs?
Or just because they liked to look
down those Roman noses
at the peasants labouring in dry fields below?
Why did they build their steps so steeply?
Little fellows, so we’re told, unlike us today.
Fifteen old friends trail stiff joints
tap our sticks up, up,
still further up, breath rasping from tired lungs
until we stand , land patchworked far below,
among tall pillars, ancient stones,
theatres and nymphaea, roads
still marked by chariot wheels,
and we have our reward.