Winter 2008

Table of Contents - Vol. IV, No. 4


Poetry    Interview    Translations    Fiction    Book Reviews

Gene van Troyer


The Desert Falls

(here and there around Japan)

The desert falls in winter

Gobi dust
raining in on arid winter blows,
winds southeast from Siberia.
Yellow equinox
greets the turning march of spring
beneath the April sky.

The dislocated dust from Gobi falls
on all Japan. We see its yellow desertmark
on everything—the static sift
through hazing atmosphere
curtaining the sun
a film of dusty gossamer
on glass and metal carapace—
the desert falls and showers everyone.

It coats us like
a counterpointed steam of winter breath,
grits the eyes, clogs the nose,
steals the moisture from our throats—
shopkeepers, housewives, temple monks
all wielding brooms, sweep,
sweep the desert dust away
as if it were pernicious, a message from the desert
that all that lives
must go the dusty way.

But then the falling desert seeds the clouds—
pregnant on the wind, each grain of dust
an embryonic water drop,
then rain—
the roaring rain!
The winter desert falls in rain,
washing over everything.

Gobi’s dustfall quenches us.


© Gene van Troyer



Poetry    Interview    Translations    Fiction    Book Reviews

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