Friday, July 14, 2023


The impossible glaciers, the icy slopes,
the serpentine path through the Himalayas—
they fall behind me like a season
that has outlived its days and dies.
The snow blindness, white corridors of darkness,
are cured by the High Lama’s touch
and ministrations in the Valley of the Blue Moon.
The Sherpas make camp while doves,
bells flying on their tail feathers,
serenade the air and pluck the Aeolian harp.
I sit in the library of the grand palace
surrounded by the holy incense of silence,
leatherbound volumes sweeping away
the confusion of distant megabytes.
I read of millennia’s glories and delights,
the madding crowd fading, fading
like the harbor’s last light
before sunrise ruffles new water
with Florentine wavelets of gold.
I lay my glasses on the desk, rise,
and put a kettle on for evening tea.
Later, I go for a walk up and down the block,
the wonders of Shangri-La spinning in my mind
before I ascend the porch stairs, weary,
lock the door, and set the ticking clock.

~William Hammett

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