In an Antique Land.
In an Antique Land The synagogue in Strada Marasesti, Timisoara, is circled by market stalls and swarming shoppers. The doors are high and wide as one expects from faith, a brick building secured with a band of stars crowned by a window with the Star of David. Twin towers, 'with a Moorish influence', spiral dizzyingly toward the sky, yet this is only of historical interest today. The building isn't used for worship anymore and the stone book of Torah open on the roof like a declaration or offering, could be closed. The place is now used, we're told, for 'cultural events', and today a rock festival poster for the, Popular and Unknown, with whirling symbols of space and time, only hint at irony. So well preserved a structure shouldn't recall Ozymandias, Shelley's sonnet destruction of a self-styled 'King of Kings' but given the holocausts of the twentieth century the solid seeming walls still recall a 'colossal wreck' and the phrase, 'nothing beside remains,' still has meaning.
Ross Donlon is an Australian poet. He has appeared in poetry festivals in Australia, Ireland and England and is winner of two international poetry competitions. His book The Blue Dressing Gown was featured on National Radio in Australia. His next, The Sea Road, a book of 50 tanka inspired by Alvik, a village in Norway and translated by children there, will be launched in 2015. www.rossdonlon.com