Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hai Van Pass

At the mountain pass above Da Nang
rain chased the clouds like a whipping dragon's 
tail and opportunistic stall sellers 
hawking their ponchos and umbrellas

and squawking like seagulls at a sliver 
of bait were shoed away by our driver Lan 
pronounced Lun.., Lun, who told us that the pass 
called Hai Van was named by the Emperor 

who looked to the sky and down to the sea
and proclaimed the place as 'Cloudy Ocean'.
And now above the carcass bunkers of 
A Battery 1st Light Anti Aircraft 

Missile Battalion United States 
Marine Corps, closer to the heavens 
a humble altar sits precariously 
and I saw a man his head bowed 

in the rain and cloud: a spiritual
supplication silently rising way
beyond Hai Van, way beyond the 
Cloudy Ocean, and way beyond memory.

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