Lanterns In The Trees

 

     An oriental empire felt the need
to count all it's falling leaves
weigh all the water
and name every passing cloud.
No harm was done and the empire lasted 
a thousand years but the people 
who could neither read nor write
would hang their lanterns from trees
for an evening's food and music
quite unaware of any boundary
inside and outside, before and after
they were good people.

     Axles and wheels were there
to be fixed, roads mended,
ore in the ground and wheat in the field.
They took up their labour cheerily
never expecting to rise
and for a thousand years never did.
They could neither read nor write
would hang lanterns from trees
for the evening's song and dance
quite unaware of any boundary
inside and outside, before and after
they were good people.

     An empire so fragile 
an act of God could end it.
Plague and famine and earthquakes,
all kind of tsunami were there 
to avoid before the bubble burst
and for a thousand years avoided they were
by anonymous, unlettered villagers.
Hanging lanterns from trees
for long evenings of celebration
quite unaware of any boundary
inside and outside, before and after-
our friends, our family.

     As every hour must be day or night
the children were indulged or deprived.
As every river is flowing or dry
their mothers heard them laugh and cry.
They found life was short and would be
were it to last a thousand years.
Let us not read another false word
let us hang lanterns from the trees
for an evening's joyous feasting
accept no invented boundaries
inside and outside, before and after
for we are good people.

◄ Only The Relevant

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