Poem – LIFE AFTER DEATH (By Ray Gallucci)



(One Day in Pompeii)


We walk the stones of Pompeii

Where grooves from chariots live

And try to fathom that day

When Mt. Vesuvius heaved.


The mountain belched now and then

Whenever Vulcan saw fit

To blow his bellows again

And clean his forges of grit.


Some smoke and ashes the norm.

The nuisance always would pass.

At worst, sky blackened would form

And smell of sulfurous gas.


Evoked no special alarm

In August 79.

“Some smoke and ash – what’s the harm?

By evening all will be fine.”


But when some hours had passed

And fallout seemed to increase,

“Appears this time it will last,”

Eroding semblance of peace.


Some pumice started to fall

With lava embers aglow

The only light ‘mid the pall

As night entombed all below.


Wherever breath still survived

(Perhaps who fled to the sea),

Now gases stifling contrived

To Pompeii’s death guarantee.


Yet still Vesuvius belched,

Expunged all traces until

Millennium and a half

A man dug into a hill.


Beneath Vesuvian soil,

They found Rome frozen in time

Since none could ever despoil

A city no one could find.


So now like Romans we walk

The stones with chariot grooves,

And hope perhaps they can talk

Of life and death that they knew.


(Published in NOMAD’S CHOIR, Summer 2010, Vol. 18, Issue 3)


Author Bio:

I am a Professional Engineer who has been writing poetry since 1990. I am an incorrigible rhymer, tending toward the skeptical/cynical regarding daily life. I have been fortunate to have been published in poetry magazines and on-line journals such as NUTHOUSE, MOTHER EARTH INTERNATIONAL, FEELINGS/POETS’ PAPER, MÖBIUS (when Jean Hull Herman published), PABLO LENNIS, MUSE OF FIRE, SO YOUNG!, THE AARDVARK ADVENTURER, POETIC LICENSE, THUMBPRINTS, UNLIKELY STORIES, BIBLIOPHILOS, FULLOSIA PRESS, NOMAD’S CHOIR, HIDDEN OAK, PABLO LENNIS, POETSESPRESSO, SOUL FOUNTAIN, WRITER’S JOURNAL, ATLANTIC PACIFIC PRESS, DERONDA REVIEW, LYRIC, THE STORYTELLER, WRITE ON! and DANA LITERARY SOCIETY.