I struggle up through tangled trees to find
A narrow path and wall of rough-hewn stone
Guarding a watercourse that must yet wind
Between the hillside and a knoll alone.
I stand gasping; as breath returns I wonder
At the strenuous toil that broke these rocks;
Amid the rising heat and crickets’ thunder
I seem to hear the faint repeated knocks
Of picks, and there beneath the burning rays
A young engineer urging on the gang
With lusty shouts. Stalwart of vanished days!
How was your end? What stroke of fever rang
The bell that brought the mourners to your grave?
These yet-firm stones a tribute to the brave.
Matthew Harrison lives in Hong Kong, and whether because of that or some other reason entirely his writing has veered from literary to science fiction and he is currently writing poetry. Matthew is married with two children but no pets as there is no space for these in Hong Kong. www.matthewharrison.hk