Reading the Silk Road
Mountains and deserts isolate communities,
peaceful cultures flourishing in Central Asia.
Or is there another truth in old bustling trade routes
transversing from the Orient to the Occident?
Out of dissonance Yo-Yo Ma edges a melody.
An early internet says the Natural History Museum.
I reading of the Silk Road then and now, see the past
and future in the lost civilizations under the sands.
The Bombyx mori eats always, unable to live without man,
a caretaker, who will boil it to death, stealing the tensile
gift worth gold, jade, and kingdoms. A secret
cannot be held, whether of the silk or of the neutron.
Kingdoms built on stolen gifts will eclipse others
even as the mummified Tocharians  were forgotten,
deracinated by Chinese scholars craving,
as did all other peoples, claims to territory.
What are the warnings to the complacent worm?
Imperceptibly closer year by year the sands edge
and the sea becomes a desert. Battles are far-off
tales to villagers until the indifferent hordes
descend as numerous as the stars over Persia.
What sweet sustenance do we take for granted?
How deeply are we cocooned, dependent on
the frail connectives of reassuring voices overhead? 

Poems by Virginia Walker

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Virginia S. Walker, PhD
P. O. Box 1032, Shelter Island Heights, NY 11965
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