A Turkmen Speaks

        I'm living in a world to understand
        which quite defeats me. On the other hand
        I know the brevity of hfe shown by
        Lost kingdoms buried in the shifting sand.

        I chanced upon a dome ofporcelain
        flist disinterred by wind upon the plain.
        Later I sought it with a friend, but found
        It disappeared beneath the sands again.

        The race that built it never reappears.
        So what of those who, over sixty years,
        Ruled here and stole our bread? The answer lies
        Beneath our feet: theres nothing dust reveres.

        I sank in anxious prayer upon my kizees
        And yet could put no substance in my pleas
        The shfting sands of time have worn away
        Even the thing that gave our forebears ease.

        The Scythians once passed upon this way
        And many other tribes, whose Gods now lay
        Their panoply beneath our ancient ditnes,
        Where Karl Alaix too is one with Yesterday.

        One day, that dome of porcelain may show
        Again its copper in the sit 'irise glou'.
        Bitt we pe force must to tomorrow turn
        Despite our troit bled thoughts of bug ago.

Brian Aldiss