Vieng Xai & Bayon

by Myrtle Vortichez

Vieng Xai

Red begonias planted politically
Bleed, liberally strewn,
In incalculable flowerings.
Pine trees remind of shelter
Beside a subterranean labyrinth.

The white sakura foreshadows the pink
On the branches of which
It’s unclear if it’s blooming, or
A network of pinched drops
Graces bare skeletons.

Clouds settle on top of mossed karsts;
Still, like the mint water.
Almost meeting the evening smoke:
This can rise here now
As red or white ducks can be kept not culled
(Undetected from above).

At this height the dew is perpetual.
Nestled in bespattered webs
Like the cratered landscape
Hides shell remnants
Ready to erupt from the ageing ground.

The pretty tinkling of bullets
In the dark, once enjoyed.
The unstruck children still look for victory;
Picking up the trails
To the next unforeseeable explosion.



The past, anchored; ripped.
All eyes must close.

From Vat Phou to Phimai,
All these roads


Treading wilfully unlocks the paths
To release water into stone:

Sculpted cardinal points
Washed around the pedestal.

Water carries to the linga quadratic

Consciousness, unw
ly ritually pure,

Drawn to the centre of empire
Through trees to the unknown sought

Like the empire builder
Stakes out a jungle water source.

The woods have ears;
The trees have eyes

Evolution in entirety
Germinates from enslabbed soil.

Looming, ahead, they wait, still, through
Abandonment to the forest.

A thrice ride round
The deathless-faced, which binds the gaze:

Circumambulation completes the ablution.
Water thrust into cycle.

Blood courses through stone





Vieng Xai & Bayon

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