by Chris Wallace-Crabbe

           Some peaks over here
are like the naïve mountains
           in my picturebooks.

          Is there something quite
sinuous and serpentine
          about all hill towns?

         What are our lives like
springing up in large nature?
         Look at the ricefield.

         History is here
being made and renewed
         among the straw-ricks.

         A flame-tree’s image
in sheer swimmingpool water
         apes eternity.

         Decling sun hues
water buffalo and ducks
         without preference.

         Midnight seized our train,
all the black hills rushing by
         thick with unmoved leaves.

         Back to a city
with cyclos, Uncle Ho and
         lotus-root salad.

         I sometimes wonder
amid such heat and fragrance
         what voyagers learn.

         Copyright © 1999 by Chris Wallace-Crabbe.


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