Tuesday, January 14, 2014

POEM: "Winter Tourism In Ningxia"

Winter Tourism in Ningxia

Today I believe we’re all on the road to Heaven
Toward the cold blue mountains of Helan Shan
And me in the steam of three fragrant beauties

Our taxi driver’s nervous about this conversation
He’s claiming the horizon is always straight ahead
And we can never presume what we should not see

Still, we keep our own private counsels warm
Since it is 20 below in the sun with our hats on
Under the old great shadows of these quiet peaks

The trees are heavy beside a silent frozen river
Petroglyphs possibly ascribing the valley rocks
(I wonder whether I should describe this ice)

Love, I see the gracious Earth-Mother around us
Her fertile and ferocious aspect observing the Tao
While I climb the rocks and I remember how I’m still here

Yesterday among the 1000-year-old Xia beehive tombs
When you say you once clambered atop the steepest one
I see my own last fall, I contend that your own wasn’t possible

Fang pao, hen hao shua – moonlit Gunpowder Night
From the hotel window with our guns aimed at the sky walls
We salute those infant stars for this love and this New Year

Later then I think of my old battles on the faces of cliffs
Finally these narrow Chinese beds and your hot body
Fighting for the gentle certainties of our brief lives.

© 2004/2015 Rob Schackne

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