Go!

There shines the horizon
A golden arch where
The done day goes
Before it a treacherous sea
Her hostile convulsions have ruined
Many a poor mariner
The skies above, black,
Pour woe, wailing bitter curses
Split asunder by blue fire
Summoning the drums of oblivion
Still the question demands
“What lies beyond?”
Should I traverse the waking gulfs
What would I find?
Some far green country
Of plenty and wonder
Or deceitful rocks
That sit unseen until too late
Is this some flight of fancy?
Do I risk devastation
By rising for something
I do not know I can reach?
Behind me are safe shores
I know which way the wind blows
And where there is shelter to be sought
But I know
And that gilded arch
Where the sun goes to be renewed
Taunts me to go seeking
I have already come to port
My vessel awaits, proved upon
The waves she may be
There is nothing which is made
That cannot be undone
Even this eternal ocean
Will someday succumb
I come to it then
I may land at the coast of Elysium
I may come to ruin on a cruel fate
The way ahead is turbulent
That is certain
With that assured cast off
Hoist the sail to catch the wind
Stand true to the mast
Hold fast to hope
And answer that calling from fathoms
Unbeknownst to oceans
Go!

Climb

When I was little there was a tree in my back garden. It was huge! Tall and lanky, it towered over the neighbourhood, when a wind kicked up it would sway and swing like a drunk leaving the pub. I used to love climbing it, it was my favourite thing, you couldn’t get me down from there. At first I used to hang around in the lower branches, safe in the knowledge that if i fell the ground wasn’t too far below. After a while, though, the lower branches lost their appeal, suddenly¬†they didn’t feel so high after all. I started to venture further up and found, after the initial discomfort, the view was better from up here. After that I was hooked, everyday I’d venture a bit further than I dared.
One day the wind got real ferocious, I was about halfway up now and clung to the trunk fearing I might be blown away. I wasn’t, I weathered the storm and I found my resolve strengthened. The worst had happened but there I still clung.
Suddenly the swaying tree didn’t seem so ominous, now I’d met with it properly. I redoubled my efforts and soon enough I knew every branch on my ascent like an old friend and I would swing in the breeze at the top most with what felt like the whole world before me.

Opening To The Boys From Qizhongtao

The last of the winter mists cling to the valley. White clouds dance all around. Dead branches tease promises of resurrection soon to come. Snow lies here and there, relenting to the growing warm of spring. The earth breaths again, damp and spiced, inhaling decay, exhaling renewal. Dewed trees weep a thousand-thousand joyous tears. Their drops become rivulets, trickling down the hill face. A breeze through ever green leaves stirs them to a slow sigh of welcome. The cranes flutter in their nests, a falcon soars, calling to the sky. Goats walk stony paths, sure hoofed and hungry. Above the pearl mountain watches, long pregnant with Winter she now births their child into the world. The cerulean dragon winds and scythes, falls and roars through the valley below. The mother glows with silent pride. This is the symphony of spring in the village of Qizhongtao.

The huts sat sodden, their chimneys peppering the air with wood smoke. Amongst their dripping fascias the children came running. Feet slapping in the muddy paths, their laughter boisterous like the rivulets down the valley side. They ran cheering and yelling, calling to their friends to come out and play. Two cows huddled under an out cropped roof were disturbed as they rushed by. Snorting their displeasure they shook their heads, jangling the bells around their necks before returning to their usual placidity.

Up into the woods the children went, finally the long winter nights were done. Amongst the mossy crags and trees they hurried, hiding and swinging, rolling and howling. Their shoving and pushing well natured, each one testing their strength against friend, cousin, sister, brother. They were all family below the mountain. Ever watchful, Tian Zhenzhu had seen their grandparents and parents come into the world. So to would she watch the children have their own and witness their passing also.