poem of the river

the summer river
wends down through the arid mountains
of gannan prefecture
xia he, it is called.

when april snows fall
over these crags
the monks are pure scarlet
drops on that white blanket.

mud walls, scooped roofs of amber
tile, prayer flags swaying
like my devotion to this, or anything at all.

at 9800 feet the wispy oxygen
is heady,


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