The River Li (1)
with shallow bed, to something more constrained and deeper. I shall tell too of riversides
that, almost at once, became scattered with small peaks. Like something spilled, like sand piling up
in the bottom bulb of a ancient clock. And then there was the sound of pebbles
beneath. How they ground into more sand beneath the hull, how the engines roared and laboured, how the guide declared he'd never known the water to be so shallow, how he worried for my flight.
The sun retreated. Distant hills turned shades of blue and grey
rose up and became the shapes of gods, magical animals and frozen people as obvious as constellations of stars.
I dreamt then of an upturning; of a sand-peak becoming a sand-sea, and an emperor displaced
with another, and another, and another. And the land, it just stood for a while and waited - as immutable as his warriors of fired clay.