from Adam Prosser

"In the secret valley of the hidden blooms
Where the river ebbs sure as the sun,
And the living weigh out their lives in death,
A King and a God are as one."

I wrote those words, though it seems an age ago.
But what do I say? For that is what it was.
An age ago, a long time dreaming,
And all the cities in the valley of the hidden blooms
Are dust and swept beneath the sand.

And still I live.

I write in whorls across the dusty page,
In scrolls of paper plants as old as skin.
I write in coloured sand on dry bone white,
And carry on my appointed task,

In hope of earning my reward.
To sleep, and not to dream.

I remember the wine of memory, the grapes
Green and red, the nectar clear and gold.
I remember the girls who danced across my eyes.

That was how it was, in the cities of old,
Where the kings were gods and the gods were kings
And the wind blew warm, and the nights fell cold.

To sleep, and not to dream.
But in the meantime I will dream.

For I built these walls, and I built them to last,
And last they will, though no one stays to watch.
And the yellow sand swallow all the palaces of man, saying,
Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair.

And still I live.

And remember that there are some things that do not drift
Like the sand that surrounds the city of the dead.
The city which I built, and the city which I spent
All my lifetime a-building, and the city where I live
Like a prisoner, and the city where I will someday die.