FREIGHTER FROM CHINA

Posted by Admin on Friday, 21st March 2008, 00:00

What bring you from the mystic East,
exotic bird or splendid beast;
or porcelain of Sung or Ming,
of jade some rare and lovely thing?

I ferry camphor, feathers, canes,
some hemp to Antwerp from Hong Kong;
and roll along the shipping lanes,
with beeswax booked for Evensong.

I carry liquid eggs that spoil
if thawed, and also sausage skin;
some soya bean and teaseed oil,
and peanuts, too, from Tientsin.

I’ve bristles, tallow, kept apart,
by bale on bale of rubber sheet –
Port Swettenham to London’s heart;
the choice is yours, dear, when we meet.

Across the ocean from Shanghai,
devoid of objets d’art you ply?
no gold-brocaded silk for me –
how useless can a voyage be?

T. C. Hudson
© T. C. Hudson.

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