Ancient Greeks preferred it to chronicles
for poetry is the art of maybe,
the alchemy which turns fact into song.
‘Antiochus honours the saviours of men,
the immortals, Asclepius of
the gentle hands, Hygeia, Panakeia.’
On the margins of barbarity
and wilderness, a Greek army doctor
commissioned a recondite altar – found
some seventeen hundred years later
when Chester’s Market Hall, its pediment
topped with cornucopia, was flattened.
Centuries before the Twentieth
was stationed here, the most famous sculptor
working at Olympia, inscribed
his wine jug, ‘I belong to Pheidias’.