While wild vines wind their ropes of scarlet fire
About the poplars on the bank
And leaves fall pale and thin as wintry sun
The mulberries hold up leaves of glossy green
To catch the failing heat before the season’s done.
Their roots delve deep into the dark
To drink from wells of a forgotten source
Cold and pure beneath the desert sands
Where golden memories sleep in tombs of tumbled stone
Fallen walls of cities built by servile hands.
Running water sings in cool dug earth
And laughs in fountained gardens’ cloistered shade
That echoed once with songs of sweet despair
Of birds in gilded cages hung beneath the trees
Their notes still ringing in the dusty desert air.
On the eve of autumn at the turning of the year
The mulberries remember summer’s song
And raise their boughs to listen to the rhyme
As crystal water courses through the earth
Murmuring stories of stone basins cracked with time.
Rocked by memories of summers past
The mulberry trees prepare their winter fast
To sleep and dream of Persian sands
And times when scented forests cast a soothing shade
Beneath the everlasting sun of antique lands.