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The Terracotta General

Updated: Jan 21, 2021

A summer reunion, Shangrila, Calif.

All things pass before the eyes

Of the Terracotta General

Fall winds and winter snows

Breath of spring and heat of summer

But as the days grow longer

The yurt tents sprout like mushrooms

Here, there, and over yonder

The Terracotta General blinks

The land is in transformation

The blue pond is the center jewel

Shrunk to size by the expanding deck

Details are etched into the landscape canvas

Something’s in the air

What is it all for?

A hairline crease appears on the forehead

Of the Terracotta General

Terracotta fisherman begins to pull

The far-flung bonds of friendship

Umbilical, invisible cords of light

He draws the net closer and closer

We are one helluva catch

Dumped in his front yard

To flop and flip and kiss and hug

In one great Aurora Borealis blanket

Terracottaman, he knows what’s gone before

Knows who’s loved and won

Hearts and lost the game of

Poker, Pocket and Rams

Turning, turning with us all

On the wheel, around we go


He is the wheel

But then Terracottaman

Leans on the brake

Cable car man of life

Slows the wheel for a few seconds, a minute, a weekend?

Time enough at least

For the Fountain of Love to gush

And crush the hourglass of time

Sands of grain blowing in the wind

Bringing answers

To unformed questions

To be together

Is enough

So Mars was a no-show

Terracottaman he knew

There were stars enough

And also better stuff lined up

Belly dancers

Terracotta raised an eyebrow

Fire jugglers

He almost broke a sweat

They ate, they drank,

They danced, they fondled

Grinning Terracotta

Whipped the wheel

Quiet now, all departed

The hosts are spent

But happy

They pulled it off

The Terracotta General

Gaze unfazed

Readies for winter

With warm roses in his belly

He stands there

With snow and a milk moustache

Guarding always

Shangri La

TLK, 2009


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