Poem of the Week

water deep

Photo by Michael Scott | scottphotographics.com under Creative Commons License

I know we already had one poem this week, but this is the actual poem of the week for 18 April. I hope you enjoy it!

Don’t forget – If you have any stories, ideas or creative writing you want shared on this blog or if you’re a company who wants to support the 2014 Oxford World Book Capital bid, then email me at worldbookcapital@gmail.com.

Serapis from a Postcard by James Byrne

for Zouzi Chebbi Mohamed Hasesen

Inventor-cool that Ptolemy –

smoothed down via dream-dictation,
he discovered the beard of Serapis,
and made dynastic the perfect lie.

Led to the unknown        by the unknown,
(from Macedon to Alexandria)

for your face on this postcard, Mohamed,
Goddio’s magnetometer flashed green –

from the humming cave of a shiphead,
a four-month stint in the Grand Palais.


To Google –

Serapis the amalgamator,
the ghost-bearded messiah,

part-western bull           part son of Geb,
a Jesus decoy agent.

From the ruins of the Daughter Library,
to the Yorkshire garrisons,

brushed / rebrushed
the bunko of his rock face.



because the conclusiveness of one entity
is so crucial, so believed,

it carried Serapis from Alexandria
through Rome                   to the Bishops of Christ,

to these glassy banks of Petrovaradin –

where you are God of Fertility,
God of the White River –

half-king of the deep.

Copyright © James Byrne, 2009. ‘Serapis from a Postcard’ is taken from Blood / Sugar by James Byrne, and published by Arc Publications.

Find out more at the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre.


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