Lake Grasmere

In fields I dream of Coleridge writing Xanadu
and the march of time past Bukhara and
Samarkand and Masjed e Shariff
and Boz Kooshi and Opium Wars
in China, not the British Empire’s
finest hour trying to balance
their trade deficit with
the juice from this
illicit flower, what
dreams may
come under
its power
I watch
the
Darvish,
beat his
drum, the sacred
Daf in my mind’s eye
waiting for the Golden Horde
to arrive on horseback like a dark
cloud, I hear the thunder of their hooves
long before they arrive and know that only
death and blood and devastation will be left
behind, if I were a bird I’d fly away to safer ground
I feel the earth begin to shake beneath my feet the time
is nigh upon us now, if we can’t fly then burrow under ground
as quickly and deeply as you can and in spring we’ll reconvene
and live to die another day in another battle on the sea so very far
away now let the opiate give you sleep for days and dreams of Circes
in your embrace, become the fabric in the lace of her gown and relinquish
your heavy crown, better to pass as a commoner and disappear in the crowd
no glory in martyrdom this time around against horse warriors on the move again

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