LOST NO MORE?
Atlantis’s legend’s a mystery no more —
Just Isles Santorini remain from its shore.
Volcano that blew, fifteen hundred B.C.,
Replaced most of Thera with nothing but sea.*
Seems Plato was right, even though off by ten
When cited millennia nine as to when
Atlantis had vanished in less than a day
Since only nine centuries stood in the way.
The Pillars of Heracles of which he wrote
Were not at Gibraltar, but much less remote.
In Eastern Aegean where Bosporus lies
Were “Pillars” named likewise, but smaller in size.
Atlantis, an island with watery rings
Connecting the palaces housing its kings,
Perhaps was depicted on fresco Minoan
Preserved by the ashes from blast Krakatoan.
From archaeological evidence found
Seems Therans and Cretans both shared common ground —
A civilization advanced for its time
With skills engineering and civics sublime.
Their buildings were bolstered with seismic supports.
Most citizens’ quarrels were settled in courts.
But none of this mattered as pressure built up
Till Thera’s volcano was forced to erupt.
Volcanic caldera was gouged in a flash
Amid pyroclastics with pumice and ash.
Destroyed most of Thera, but far beyond that,
Aegean tsunamis squashed everything flat.
Were Biblical plagues from the Exodus tale
Phenomena spawned when volcano exhaled?
Did swells from tsunamis force ocean to churn
Enough to recede, then to quickly return?
It may be coincidence, then it may not
How much Santorini completes Plato’s plot.
But doubtlessly knowledge, once growing, decreased
For years in the Mediterranean east.
The culture Minoan was rendered extinct,
With capital Knossos despoiled in a blink.
Inevitably some who witnessed survived
And from them Atlantis’s legend derived.
* Thera, the largest remaining of the Santorini Islands, was antiquity’s name for Santorini.
(Published in THE STORYTELLER, Jan-Mar 2013, p. 60 [Second Place People’s Choice Poetry Award])
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.