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Kinta Valley

OR : Dreams of the Sleeping Man
        (Anthropomorphic name of a mountain profile viewed from The Valley)

The sleeping man dreams on in calm detachment
While in valley below activity's frenetic, prolific
Such motion mere noise in history's grand enactment
No matter to one who's recall predates Palaeolithic

In his dream that for others is substance of reality
The Kinta river formed and enriched the vale
Ravines with measureless caverns and jungle tapestry
Hid treasure, for millennia an untold tale

The ancestors who began the human epic
Found a land where they could live in lives unchanging
Environment wild but defendable land synergetic
While civilisations waxed and wained, world rearranging

In that primal forest where life teemed day and night
That shared its bounties with creatures of every size
Those other primates and tigers burning bright
Orang Utan - (jungle man) looked on with placid eyes

Then people arrived in human tidal waves
From near and far with diverse aims and ideals
For some, generous land gave the life-of-ease they craved
While chance and challenge drove others in active zeal

To Kinta Valley there came a golden age 
Beneath primary forest floor its treasure revealed 
Not gold nor silver but tin took centre stage
In the race to find what fortunes it would yield

Bone white scars blazed deep green jungle with exclamations
As the precious ingots were filtered from the soil
Realm unchanged for ages was shaped to man's aspirations
The dominant being assumed position royal

Villages of the broad dale burgeoned into towns
With elegant streets and buildings of imperial pride
In 'Bougainvillea City' trees and blossoms would abound
And bank halls baroque attested to wealth undenied

Final days of boom brought self destructive menace
Venal rulers and greedy builders in aesthetic infamy
Wreaked havoc in many a graceful urban terrace
Tasteless vulgar structures damaged the elegant symmetry

The dream moved on, tin lost economic sheen
The beautiful city of Ipoh reprieved from further outrage
Instead slow and graceful decline changed the city's mien
Like a comely lady who's reached a certain age

And still large fragments remain of the former glory
Preserved by the slower rate of so called progress
Rapid growth overwhelmed other towns erasing their story
Here history is still revealed in loved aspects we bless

The sleeping man dreams on - no thought of regret
Chaos theory means future story's unknown not prophetic
The changes to come at each stage will beget
A conclusion to merely a chapter in the great epic

Copyright © | Year Posted 2017

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Date: 5/26/2017 8:06:00 PM
This is a colossal write dear Geoffrey, you brought to mind images of a once glorious past and the inevitable decline, all in the name of progress and greed. We all have our use-by-date so I love the line about the comely lady! I would give this a 10 if that was possible.
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Geoffrey Brewer
Date: 5/26/2017 10:09:00 PM
Thank you Cecilia. I was afraid that this poem was rather dry and academic. Your comments are, as always, an inspiration to me.