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Poetry: History


The Court of the Shining Prince: 1OOO CE

Let the pale children dance:
our time is almost over.
Let flute and shamisen wash
the sheer air with ornament, and
let all the slender children
slide carelessly into patterns:
the hour is upon us.

We are wealthy beyond ancient imaginings
of even the most lavish heavens:
it is our birthright.
We are slender, bred in rooms hung
with silk, made venerable by
the replicated visions of
fine hands.           We are
without blemish, except in our bellies,
where the dried wound still gapes, after
the soul's gradual escape.

We are not whole, but we are not dying.

Rather, we are the pale children
of legends who, falling here,
built for their posterity homes
more graceful than those from which
they had been spurned.

We cross vacant rooms in
intricate rhythms,    almost alive.
Let us dance.   We do not recognise
the stranger whose beauty is not
our own. From whence does he descend,
his hair bright and undesigned,
his eyes too clean?     He has ridden
too many days in the skies
to belong here.      Let us dance.

Outside, strong men gather in the provinces.
They are coarse, their fingers
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