CRANE TOWER

 

(After Wang Zhihuan, 688742 A.D.)

 

Climbing – and what stairs! –
The shadows lengthen,
Shouldered by the hill,
The river gorged with silt.
A thousand miles
That snake eye searching heaven!

Flight after flight of stairs,
And the sun dying,
Leaking from the air. Beneath,
Unemptying, remorseless, chill,
A damp ochre melts to sea.

 

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