silk road

silk road
a tale of magic and mystery of old Cathay and the Taklamakan Desert, the ‘place of ruins’ through which the Silk Road ran
march 2022

Taklamakan
This image of the Taklamakan is by traveller/photographer Hiroki Ogawa and licensed for sharing under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

had
heard
of a place
beyond
pleasure
better than
gold or silver
could measure,
men said,
yet no myth
no traveller
warned me
as i shouldered
the curtains
of dusk
aside,
with a smile
like silk wavered
_______in sky
she asked
where i was heading
what land i sought
guided me on
pointing with
hand to
the silk road
_______its line
under moon
warm if you
bring the
right season
in flood over
the fingering
nerves of its
sands, ‘you go
that way,
the lost,
dishonoured
way’ laughing
in dimple
she smiled
in a sulk and
and touched my
touch as i rode
through from haste
‘farewell’
she whispered
along her palm
like silk, yet i
went no further
than her smile
along that dark
silk road that
led me to my
first step,
she asked
what land i
sought, promised
my going and return
back to my first
step, she called
the cocoon the
mother of salt,
the white thread
it spun in the
dark the
father of
silk

Copyright © 2022 Peter Le Baige.  All Rights Reserved

Click on the link above to hear a reading of the poem.  The accompanying music is from ‘Pour les Sonorités opposées’ from the ‘Douze Études’ by Claude Debussy and interpreted here in a 1989 recording for German TV by Mitsuko Uchida.  The midnight cricket chorus also add their high silver.

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