By the 8th century our rough harbours…

Buried 2

ii

By the 8th century our rough harbours
had already drowned Persian ships

We drove cylinders into the earth
to discover previous horizons

In the dry zone we climbed great rocks
and rose out of the landscape

Where we saw forests
the king saw water gardens

an ordered river’s path circling
and falling,

he could almost see

the silver light of it
come rushing towards us.

— Michael Ondaatje, from the poem collection, Handwriting

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