Shining above a city of diamonds,
On limestone hills that stretch out like tree roots
From the base of the Tenasserim Range,
The grand citadel of Khao Wang salutes.
Mongkut’s summer palace and royal wat
Adorn each rise like flooding waterfalls;
Sweeping porches perched on the counterslopes,
Bougainvilleas potted near plastered walls.
Beyond the tricoloured paper petals
Are massed stands of dormant leelawadee,
Branches reaching upward like amorous hands
Studded with buds soon to be flowered free.
Away from the crowds a silence glistens,
Wise men must gaze, a wiser soul listens.