While The Clouds Blow In From The South

A new poem by Rob Schackne


Inner Mongolia or Nei Menggu

shares an international border

with Mongolia (of course) and Siberian Russia

it stretches almost two and a half thousand kilometres

and Shaanxi province lies just beneath it where

three million farmers will face urban relocation

where it happens that a shining woman

I am starting to love a little comes from

(yes, Eleanor, it’s on the fabled Silk Road —

and yes I have “guessed at the layers of her face”) 

although I know today’s easy trading

comes from another furious direction 

only now I am forced (again) to consider

to whose greater detriment it will be

if ever we crossed those long borders

how we would ever walk such a distance.

Rob Schackne lives in Shanghai