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Shanta Acharya, from Dreams that Spell the Light

The Trees of Nanjing

The trees of Nanjing shelter us from the sun
providing a canopy, an oriental umbrella, while we wander
through the flower market chaperoned by our guide.

The sycamores with their manicured branches
reach for the sky like a drowning man's hands,
five fingers stretched in hope, praying
for succour, striving for freedom, growing out of the earth.

The snow-pine and the pagoda-shaped cypresses
greet us amid grey mists as we wind our way
through crowded bazaars, mesmerised.

Translucent like jade, radiating warmth to the viewer,
remaining cool to the touch, but always a forced voyeur,
the leaves of these plane trees ask the sun to move over.