This poem was prompted by the news that the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the highest, and surely the most spectacular in the world, is nearing completion.
The centuries were less than kind to you.
But then, virginity's a tease for both bully
and suitor alike: you could hardly think your coy
rebuffs would keep either away, you knew fully
what history meant, that empires destroy
to thrive. And there was the odd flirtation too.
The suitors left but the ravisher, none too gentle,
gorged in heat and scourged you with his lust.
A cynical world watched your screams abate,
your flailing spirit ground to conquest's dust,
a desiccated carcass. And now the tourists wait
like vultures, for tickets to Lhasa Central.