Patton’s Paper Road to Ham Tin 鹹田

Ham Tin Plank Bridge

Ham Tim Beach (Photograph from frankshiking.blogspot.com)

 

This is the beach that wipes more than just a mile or so off my face,
legs once again learning through blunt muscle
how to speak at length
haltingly the language of fatigue. I need
now all the balance I can muster
to get across Ham Tin’s ramshackle prank plank-bridge stilted over
a deep tidal creek
out to the pristine-deserted foreshore, sparkling
like a salt-crystal mirage of itself. Those two islands ― Tai Chau  大洲
and Tsim Chau  尖洲 ―
intimate in their hundreds or thousands of millions of years
together, mean across the clear bay-water what they’ve always ever meant
to my dumb way of seeing: a thin gate or a slot
for imagination to glide through
and a realization that the grand total of a lifetime’s stock knowledge
can bring me back
full of fresh feeling to a place like this
without even slightly telling me the answer
to my whims.

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