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Unmasked ashen faces
Wide staring eyes in flames frozen
Wine spilled shadows
Struck by Apollo’s arrow
Tumbling in the pumice rain

Blot out the sun on this Hellenic mystery
Blow the echoes that remain
To rouse in memory the ancient voice
That carved its name in Roman cement


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The market voices
Call out the choices
When the coins jingle
The jewelry twinkles
A maiden laughs
A child cries
The hum and hustle
The artifacts of daily life


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But darkness slumbers
Wakes up during the night
In nauseous fumes
Jupiter’s thunder
Roaring
Molten in scalding flows
Its sulfurous kisses
Even Hercules they buried


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Then later in the silence
The mist blowing over the hills
In the cracks, there grew a flower
That stills dances in the wind


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"Oh hi there. Are you enjoying yourself? That's good. Nice poetry, isn't it? Very historical and dramatic. Goes great with hot cocoa. We're your new neighbors, so we thought we come and say hi. We hope to get to know you better now that we live next to each other. Well, see you around, neighbor!"


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Images generated by @litguru using Stable Diffusion software. The prompt sought to create a ceramic mosaic of Pompeii scenes to accompany the imagery in the poem. The robot bears is something else entirely :)

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8 comments
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One can say about @litguru: You are yourself, and no one else. You write, you create not to please anyone, but yourself.

The first threshold for art is to be genuine. Boy do you meet that threshold. You may use AI, but you use it in service of your ideas not instead of them.

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Thank you so much for this wonderful comment! I enjoy exploring the different tools available, which keep growing everyday. It's an exciting time to create. I'm glad you find it entertaining. :)

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This was wonderful. So full of bold imagery - you added so much depth to the devastation that was the eruption of Vesuvius. Great use of reference to the gods in your poem! Nobody and nothing was immune. I was looking up one of the reference in your poem and discovered that the work at Pompei and Herculaneum represented the birth of modern archaeology. Fascinating, right?... and to think that was mid-18th century...so in the grand scheme of things... not too long ago! Thanks for the interesting historic read, Lit... and the wonderful creativity that you shared in the process! I thought your use of AI to create mosaic images was inspired!!! Always a pleasure and a joy to experience you !PIZZA !ALIVE

https://www.britannica.com/place/Pompeii/History-of-excavations

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This is fantastic @samsmith1971!

You even found the reference to Hercules 😄

I was looking up one of the reference in your poem and discovered that the work at Pompei and Herculaneum represented the birth of modern archaeology.

The pumice rain is real too. It must've been quite a blast with a pyrotechnic display. I'm glad you enjoyed reading more about it!


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It was a fabulous read! And yes the pumice rain was crazy! !LUV !hivebits !

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