Sunday 19 August 2018

Our tramp through China

Our tramp through China

came to end at the Great Wall.

And though it’s got that damn iconic rank,

it truly was an outstanding


as it bubbled from the peaks like History’s champagne.


We set up camp

and watched the sun

lay down

its head behind the tips of the West,


from where,

more than two millennia prior, as

Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi oversaw the build 

of a fortress of farcical proportions,                                              

as the Xiongnu to the North prepared invasion,

Rome prepared to split its cocoon.


We walked along a while.


Looking south, we felt tourists still,

but in the face of the formidable north

we had the strange sensation of feeling local.

We were tired but impassioned

then unexpectedly moved

as we took our backs to an undersized segment,

which for all we knew marked the bones

of half the poor wretches

now perished

from bringing to life

the outrageous magnum opus,

the now dormant reptile sprawled across Northern China.


—The nation’s true dragon.


A final speck of sun fell back;

an idling wasp withdrew within a crackling section.



following the first of the Dynasties

whose guardsmen lined every one of its towers,

after digging its ancient heels in the sands

of the Cultural Revolution

and clinging on to life,

after Rome’s capitulation,

the mammoth beast just lies silent,


on a small pension

of the odd tourist dollar.


But it never does go short

on providing the wasps

some shelter for the night.













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