On a Western Star


the river of heaven wheels round at night

drifting the galaxy stars

clouds mimic the murmur of waterfalls

by the palace cassia blossoms bloom

court maidens gather fragrance

for silk sachets and interior chambers


the princess

feeds kola-nuts

to her pet phoenix

the prince plays his pipes

long as goose-quills

summoning dragons

down from the hills


sashes pink as clouds at dawn

skirts of lotus-root silk

they walk on the island

picking fresh orchids and fruit

waves rise from the sea

wearing away the walls of the kingdom


in a place

drifting

close to your heart

someone familiar

on a Western Star