In fleeting moments twixt life and death, sub-
Mersion into depths of Aegean seas, Alexon was
Swept overboard to crashing waves, unforgiving
Brine, lost from a Greek merchant ship, where
He navigated by self-made charts of Ionian Islands,
Dead reckoning their narrow rocky passages,
Protected harbors, and dangerous reefs.
During a flashing assessment of Alexon’s life,
An omnipresent voice spoke to him, questioning
If he wished to end his present days or dwell
Amongst the gods, sun, moon, and five known
Planets, slanting ecliptic orbits. Warm hands
Upon Alexon’s face lifted him, released death
Grip of perilous wrecking waves.
Unconscious on his ship, Alexon dreamed of
Greek gods, their lofty peristyle domain, mortal
Lives, pawns of karmic chessboards, some
Blessed, cursed, meandering blind to life’s
Spiritual ways. For Alexon, his gift was refining
Celestial navigation, landmarks lost on dark
Horizons, to safely transit open seas.
His mind mathematics crazed, Alexon spoke
Not of his vision. Consumed by astronomical
Formulas, calendars and constellations, tireless
Months of celestial observations, he understood
Their wandering course, to perfect an astral
Mechanism to guide mariners across the Medi-
Terranean, to Hyperion-guided seas.
In artisan workshops, Alexon handcrafted brass
Dials and incremented rotating rings, precision
Gear trains, meshing of astronomical tables into
Tiny turning teeth, faithfully following planetary
Orbits, variable positions of moon and stars,
Hand cranked into mechanical motion, heavenly
Wisdom of Greek gods.
With each precise click of Alexon’s mechanism,
He praised his orbiting companions, nightly
Procession of rising lights. So renowned was his
Invention that Lords of Corinth sent his finished
Instrument as a gift to Rome, honoring triumphal
Parades of Julius Caesar, an ill-fated decision
That brought justified wrath of punitive gods.
In a harrowing sea-storm, Alexon’s celestial
Device was lost to ocean depths, unforgiving
Brine, lost from a Greek merchant ship near
Antikythera Island. There it corroded for twenty
Centuries until accidentally discovered by
Sponge divers, a prize hidden by Greek gods
Until they, too, vanished, glories time-forgotten.
This poem is based on the discovery and reconstruction of the Antikytheria Mechanism initially discovered by Greek sponge divers in 1900. As of 2012, this ancient mechanism was displayed as part of a temporary exhibition about the Antikythera Shipwreck. More information about this intriguing device can be found at these links: