Halong Bay

Your wall is as old, dimpled skin;

The hollows you keep, so snug to your body,

must’ve been shaped by cannon balls

All together I see beauty etched by time

Into skin that must feel hard,

Almost like leather, under touch

But your smell is fresh and soothing

From the water, the crystal water,

Which I hear lapping gently at your base

It lilts over my canoe, into my lap

I taste its saltiness as I wipe my wet hand

Across my stuck-wide open mouth

Your near-silent look of perfection

Is majestic, as your name; Halong Bay

Your sides are young and fresh now

As the sun dances its ephemeral rays over you

Junk ships glide amongst your walls

To-and-fro like fags in a water-clogged-ashtray;

Their sails shaped in such a fashion

That they were made to match your form

“Nam! Nam!” A sailor shouts, waving wildly.

The slight-framed hands of haste

flail like fish out of water, from his post up high,

As he gestures madly at his fellow

Who stands, looking bemused, on the deck below.

Back-light eclipsing his face in shadow.

The flailing sailor then dives to the deck,

Spinning thrice as he goes.

H watches in admiration

From her sea-level perch.

Her canoe will shave wood minutely

When, shortly,

she’ll float by the exhausted boat,

Perhaps a little too closely.

But she is distracted

by ancient surroundings

Which were made to keep

time-old-secrets of fairies in their core.

J’adore! J’adore!

How I do love you!

Your caves wink at me as I pass them

Their dimples twinkling a good-bye

Such calm, and such dignity

In your old and weathered walls.

Your grace and elegance wash over me,

Almost rolling smoothly

like the waves that surround me,

Planting seeds of peace in my mind

And in these, my memories.






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