Saturday, December 12, 2015

Vernon Mooers writes

In the Mountains Where The Wild Pheasants Roost

After the yellow dust blows
by June he comes with his tools
dusts out the coffee shop, readies scuba gear
fires up the power boat, tests the jet skis
paints the goose-looking paddle boats
for he knows the families always come
like the summer rain to rice fields
the fall leaves float from chestnut trees.
The mounds of their ancestors rise from hillsides
where thirty-thousand Mongols rode on horseback
their flags flying with thunder over these hills
and the farmers’ daughters hid for safety.
Now the rice-planter skids four rows at a time
and the trumpets sound like a thousand car horns  
       finely tuned like the archer’s arrow
      flies fast over forty kings’ graves
and old footpaths criss-cross the hills
where the Mongols slept
their fire lights in the night
     as the cuckoos sing
     trumpets cry out
     to the sky
      bring blue                      


  1. Yellow dust (also called Asian dust, yellow sand, yellow wind, or China dust storms) is a seasonal meteorological phenomenon which affects much of East Asia in the spring. It originates in the deserts of Mongolia, northern China, and Kazakhstan, where high-speed surface winds and intense dust storms kick up dense clouds of fine, dry soil particles. Prevailing winds fhen carry it over Korea and elsewhere, even all the way across the Pacific to North America. It has become a serious problem due to the increase of industrial pollutants it contains, and intensified desertification in China is causing longer and more frequent occurrences.


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