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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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Phoenicians

 

Seafarers, sellers of cedar,

pine, metalwork, crowns

 

of thorns, dogs, glass, wine,

they thought up paper

 

& alphabetized, paid tribute

to whatever king laid siege,

 

but went on worshipping

Moloch & Baal. They carved

 

beasts & divinities from other

lands whose look they liked

 

in gold & ivory. They dyed

wool purple with the long

 

gone Murex snail’s

crushed shell.

 

―Hilary Sideris



Della Francesca

 

Few understood as he did

the regular bodies of Euclid,

 

hidden facets, circles within curves

that give grace to a common vase,

 

or a prince in belted silk,

Saracen-fashion, on a horse.

 

For the Barefoot Franciscans

he frescoed an Annunciation,

 

columns mathematically fading

behind the blond angel.

 

Blinded by catarrh, he died

in a palazzo built by his own

 

hands & burned soon after,

in another civil war.

 

―Hilary Sideris

 

 

 



Phoenician sarcophagus found
 in 
Cádiz, Spain; now in
Archaeological Museum of Cádiz.
The sarcophagus is thought to
 have been designed and paid for
 by a Phoenician merchant, and made
 in Greece with  Egyptian influence.