Where is Europe and who cares

(In the event of atomic war, every fifth survivor will be Chinese-- attributed to Mao Tse Tung)

Staring from the bridge
Beside the cars
Above the rails
The yawning Yangtze
Below like folded paper
Floating in the rain
Steam the lines
Joining the earth’s middle
To its limbs
To the arms
To the legs
That swim
Joined slightly
To the Pacific rim
By silver
Oil and gold
To the extremities
To coasts cold
Where Narcissus
With Mars and Opiates sleep
Dream of trade
Cheaply made
Once from the grave
Those dead who died
Their lives to save
Blessed be they
Whose intentions
There pave the way
In alliance Atlantic
Reactions fanatic
While the search resumed
To be or to have
The toes and the fingers
A peninsular corpse
Once exhumed also lingers.

Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is author of Unbecoming American: A War Memoir and also Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..