My Gladiator

Photograph by Tom D’Arby (via Pexels) Poem By Joni Caggiano

This piece is dedicated to and inspired by the fragrance writer, the poet who can find any scent you or your beloved enjoys.  

In the days of the Roman Gladiators, their natural scents were collected and sold as expensive perfume for rich patrons.   

in her white stola, she hummed by the lone gladiator gate,
sixty men strong, leather-covered manhood grew wet, a pricy scent
stunning the young slave, her beloved, agonizing over his undetermined fate

would his blood spill upon the hot, dry dirt in the colosseum today
women in tyrian purple tunics wear gladiator sweat between their breasts
triumph would mean some wealthy woman, with him tonight, would have her way

wrinkles forming chronicles of pain, body bent, eyes see bars of steel
long ago torn apart by lion’s jaws, her first love became a slave for romans
possessing her heart, his memorial, this place of death, the only place she could feel

rare and priceless her husband’s scent, the sweat, oil, and dirt from his loins
harvested daily in his short life, which now she must endure as perfume to others
absent to her, their sweet aroma all that’s left of him, worn by women with gold coins

58 thoughts on “My Gladiator

    1. Thank you Jill. You are so sweet to always read my work. I did a lot of research on the Gladiators. What a sad life they had. People even drank their blood. If your ever looking for the perfect scent just click on the link. He is also a lovely poet. You and I have so many allergies we can’t wear something cheap. Hope all is well we will catch up soon. Love you and your precious family. ❤️❤️

    1. Thank you so much Francisco. I read a lot about the Gladiators. What a sad existence most of them had. They really started out being used at funerals. The thinking was the fighter who died would be protecting their loved one in the afterlife. Glad we know better. I hope you two are enjoying your summer. Sending love to you both. ❤️🤗Joni

    1. Thank you Tim. Those guys had a very hard life. Most died in their early twenties. I looked up your lens couldn’t help myself, your photographs blow me away. I couldn’t find yours exactly but your photographs of the moon are so incredibly I had to investigate. Can’t afford such a wonder but you really have to know what your doing to use it anyway. I will be watching for more of those shots. Have a great day. Hugs 🤗 Joni 🦉

      1. Wow that was really nice of you Tim. Thank you I am excited to check it out. You are right about the Gladiators and they were admired and died so young. I didn’t know it was heroic to die young but it makes sense. Thanks again Tim. You two have a great one. 🤗

      2. Back then, if you were a warrior it was undignified to grow old and weak. I can understand that. I was once very strong and fit. Now I am such a weakling. I bought a jar opener because I don’t have the strength to open jars of green chiles. It’s sad and pathetic. Back then a person could not easily change careers or take up different interests to compensate for growing old and weak like we can today. Thank goodness for photography, music and the Internet to help with creative interests that compensate for growing old and weak.

      3. You look great Tim and are so talented. I don’t know what you have been through but I can emphasize a bit. I was in my thirties when I was in a water skiing accident that the neurologist told me I was lucky I was not a quadriplegic. Eventually I grew strong again and could do 50 dips with a 45 pound weight on my lap using a bench. I could almost lift my body weight. Then I got older and the four cervical disc herniated again and I eventually had surgery. I try to stay in shape riding a recumbent bike indoors but it isn’t easy and then there is pain. I know what it is to feel weak but I know the world is still sexist and there is more pressure on men to be strong. I know men injured in the war who I have met who are missing up to three limbs so I am grateful my neck didn’t cut my cord. You really do look healthy, are handsome and extremely talented. I am so glad you are here and me too. Thank you for sharing something personal about yourself that really means a lot to me. Love ❤️ Joni

      4. I guess you don’t know my history. I’ve been through two cancers and a stem cell transplant. My first cancer was in 2010. I got back in pretty good shape after that, but strength was hard to regain. I had the stem cell transplant in 2016. Since then, rebuilding muscle mass has been very difficult, and I end up with a lot of joint pain when I do weight bearing exercises and lifting heaving things. I really lost a lot of muscle mass from all the intense chemo I’ve received. To date I’m in complete remission. I can’t really complain. Being a weakling, having a bit of joint pain and numb fingertips and numb toes are a lot better than the alternative.

      5. No, I did not know your history. I can’t even begin to imagine going through one round of cancer and chemo, let alone two and a stem cell transplant.
        I can only guess how weak I would feel after one round of chemo or how long I would be recovering. I am so sorry that this happened to you. I don’t know if I would be strong enough to endure all that you have been through. I have to salute your emotional and physical strength Tim. I am so grateful to hear you are in complete remission. That is a blessing. I doubt that anyone who cares about or loves you cares in the least that you are not bulked out. However it is hard to grow weak and as we het older there are things we can’t do as well. You are amazing and very talented and I am so grateful you are here. I know a lot of folks might think I am sappy and that I sign often, love Joni, but I mean what I say. I grow close to many of the people I have met on WordPress and that includes you. I am very sensitive and I pray for my WordPress family. I see pics of you and I think there is a nice looking artist. That is true and I
        hope that I am worthy of that friendship. Sending love to one amazingly strong man. ❤️🤗

      6. Thanks, Joni. Each of us have been through hell. I think yours was much worse and I’m happy you survived and grew into the beautiful, talented, empathetic, positive woman you are. I appreciate your kind and encouraging words.

      7. You have so touched my heart Tim. I don’t know if you can compare pain but it sounds like we have both had some bad times. Thank you for your kindness it means more than you know. I am so grateful that I met you here. It is a blessing for me. Love ❤️ Joni

  1. Another gem, Joni. A bit of time travel in this one. I think Gladiators were the first attempt at being influencers. Find a way to attract a crowd and earn a living however dangerous it might be. Sad short lives not of their choosing. Hope to win, but often losing. Stay well. Allan

    1. Thank you Allan. I really enjoyed researching their lives and you are right very sad. The Gladiator fights were actually started at funerals. The idea was when someone died the wealthy folks would have two trained fighters – fight to the death. The idea of course that the dead gladiator would protect them in their afterlife. People also drank their blood. Their sweat and dirt also often contained flower or herbal scents as well. If the gladiator was good his owner would get a lot of money for their perfume. They also died in their early twenties usually. Sad existence. You have an amazing day my friend. Sorry for rambling on, we are so fortunate we were not borne back in those days. 🤗Joni

    1. Thank you Cassa. I can’t imagine buying this but rich people did and they also drank Gladiator blood. The world is a harsh place today but imagine living in Rome during the Gladiator period in history. It was interesting but sad to learn about how they lived. “The Fragrance Writer,” gave me a selection I might try so I asked my husbandry look it up. It is $300.00 a bottle a little steep but the next time I go to an upscale place to shop (it has been over a year now) I will definitely try it. Like you I have a lot of scent allergies but this was all natural, so it might be one I could wear. Have an amazing day Cassa. 🤗❤️😘

      1. The history has been filled with savage, even in the modern world, perhaps just being more underground.
        I am not a huge on perfumes. But I do also get inspired by Joe’s fragrane poetry. Ever now and then I get surprises when I smell some beautiful scents. My partner has a more sensitive nose than me and he gets headache too like me 😄

      2. You are right about the savage behaviors that still exist today and they are everywhere too. Joe is a good poet. Having headaches is not any fun. I average at least two migraines a week. Sending you hugs and love my friend. ❤️🤗❤️

      3. Oh that’s terrible to endure – migraines. Sending 🙏🙏🙏 your way, may your migraines be delivered and on their way to oblivion.💚💕

    1. Thank you for the kind reblog. I have not been able to leave a comment on any of your posts for about a month now. What is going on. I will copy this and send to Stuart if it will not send and I get an error message. Thank you for you reading and support always. Have an amazing rest of your week. ❤️🤗

  2. I love everything ‘Roman’
    Especially ‘Ancient Roman’
    And yes, I have been to Rome
    And to Florence,
    And many points on the “Boot’ in Between
    And more than once.

    Great! Post. I love it!
    Mean it.
    Love it.

    1. Wow, thank you so much. Their culture is very interesting indeed. I wish I could see Rome. I have not had the opportunity to do much traveling. Spent several weeks around Spain which is so beautiful and spent time in Chili for a work project. That is about the extent of my travels. Thank you for your kind comment and for reading. Have an amazing evening!! 🤗Joni

  3. Hello again honeybun. What a beautiful poem. It speak so much to me. The metaphors are out of this world. I have to confess. I read first on twitter. I even like it more now.

    Have a beautiful afternoon sweetheart. Love and blessings.

    1. Oh so nice to hear from you again Button. Thank you for reading and commenting on this piece and I am so glad you liked it. Don’t forget you promised to let us know when we can preorder your book. I am excited. I am hoping Vita Brevis will have a hard cover book available for purchase. Sending you love, hugs and prayers always
      honeybun xoxoxoxo

      1. Hi honeybun. I really enjoyed the piece. It’s beautiful. Of course, I will let you know when to pre-order and it is going to be a paperback version.
        You are really an angel Joni. Thank you!

      2. Dearest Button,
        I will be watching for it and so will her sister book on the nightstand. I hope they plan on printing a lot of books. Have a wonderful evening, Love
        honeybun xoxoxox

    1. Thank you so much Anna for this very kind comment. I never learned this about the Gladiators or how they sometimes received a small amount of money for whatever after the sell of their scents if they were very famous and loved by the audience. They also died in their early twenties which made me sad. Hugs dearest Anna, Joni xoxoxo

    1. Thank you John you are a sweetheart. Believe it or not my computer and phone both went at the same time. It was weird. I had to leave my computer overnight and I was so nervous. I hope all is well with you. Are you able to go out more where you are? Things have really lifted here in NC although I am still not going out that much. I am fully vaccinated. Sending you love and hugs my friend. ❤️🤗😘💕🌷💝

      1. You are very welcome. My internet has not been working at my home so I have been having to visit the library to get work done.

      2. This ended up in pending John, probably due to both my devices being on the blink at once. I hope that never happens again. Having to wipe my computer was so scary. I am sorry to hear that you are having problems now. That is not much fun going to the library, I hope your internet is fixed soon. Good luck with that as I know how frustrating that can be as well. Sending hugs and lots of love your way and hoping your internet is working well very soon. Love Joni

    1. Thank you for the opportunity. I appreciate you reaching out to me. My focus is poetry and I am an ACOA and I write poetry that reflect that as well. Let me take more of a look at your link. It sounds interesting. Let me get back to you with my ideas and/or pieces. Have a blessed evening and thanks again. ❤️ Joni

  4. I enjoyed the artistic weaving. Fragrance attraction, how women woe men and masculine gladiator types are the most important. Stunning read. 😉

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