Weathered boards, nailed to poles,
provide a starting place,
even though the letters are gone.
This is historical property
and maybe the pebbles underfoot
have once been walked upon
by Tamerlane or Ghengis Khan.
Where now are those ancient valleys
unlimbered on maps of the mind,
where powerful fountains disperse the news
and flags disappear in cerulean skies?
There along the crest of the hill
where the fabulous Mamelukes waited
silhouettes of a new iron age,
heartless, growling and blind,
thoughtlessly crawl along the road.
Though the roadside walkers never wave
and the path itself is mute,
the oak leaves dancing by the stream
bear a message as old as eyes.