Saturday, November 04, 2006

Poets in the Forbidden City



After the official reception,
the banquet and the endless round of toasts,
the poet retired,
to a new bed of words.
The poem which he found there
sparked no fire, the boasts
of midnight frogs intruded
on his every thought
and the images he sought
paled besides the one vision
of that writer who failed
to halt the column of tanks
with his own barricade
of flesh and bone.


The poet had been warned in dreams,
that like the Emperor before him,
he should never spend
two nights in succession, alone
in a familiar bed, lest
he should share the fate of his compatriot,
discovered too late,
before his warning confession,
mouth stopped with sand and stone.
A poet in the service of tyrants
feels himself secure, but in this place,
nothing is as it seems.

Late post today after much distraction.

3 comments:

  1. "the one vision
    of that writer who failed
    to halt the column of tanks
    with his own barricade
    of flesh and bone."

    This reflects so well, in what I also believe. I write poems to talk about the wars in the world, but not one word is going to stop these wars. But a poet writes in order to let others know that they know and stand with those who are in pain.

    Very nice poem.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Eloquent what you said and the above commenter.

    ReplyDelete