Down the Indus

Bruce McIntyre

for Alice Albinia

Saeed, how many Saeeds, how thick the progeny
Of those excellent and fertile loins, sprinkled
Across the not-so-excellent rock splintered
By white-green rivers – oh, narrow the gorge,
To sandy banks and tamarisks, open to sky
And clouds set free from sliding down
The highest mountainsides.

Step, Saeeds, watch them
Where they step, those feet, broad and brown
Like the prophet’s that never stepped as far as this –
Down there where everything is mountain-free
A boat awaits to bear you burningly south-west,
Awaits the very many of you dark adventurers
So many on the heavy oh-so-counted years
And on the singing winds, silt-darkened sea.

Main Location:

Indus River