Paradox of Civilization
In Jordan’s desert, a building façade
has been carved into the face of a vertical cliff.
Stairs leading to the structure are lined with lanterns.
Looking up, a view standing right of center,
stone appears orange near the base fading to black at its top.
Where cliff’s edge meets the night sky,
darkness brightens into starlight.
While appearing more ancient,
this façade has features of Roman architecture:
columns, shallow gables atop flat roofs, carved figures decorating idle spaces.
It has two stories.
It’s first has six columns.
Two are set back from the entrance that is supported by four beneath a gable.
Two horses are carved on wall between first and second column,
two more are carved between fourth and sixth column.
Inside a portico behind the center four columns,
steps lead up to a tall entrance, black,
an opening to a large chamber inside the rock.
The second story, as wide as first, has a block cut from its center.
At each side are half gables, supported by two columns.
Statues are carved beneath each gable.
Between these gables is a turret supported with columns.
A statue of a human figure stands within the turret.
The grand scale of the western façade should be alien in the Jordanian desert.
It should be, but is not.
If taken from the rock and perfectly constructed in Washington D.C.,
with a coat of white paint, it would not look out of place.
A fusion of West and East, this place begs questions about the people who carved it,
political and religious beliefs of their civilization,
its purpose in a desert,
and how it could be ahead of its time.
Copyright © Graphite Drug | Year Posted 2015
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