The Ruricolist is now available in print.

On a Television Advertisement for the City of Dubai

Only build.
Build higher and farther.
Build wilder and larger.
Build where never built before
Build with ruins under floor.
The city cannot wait, the roads are true
Their word runs everywhere, they run for you.
Where have you seen the spot where buildings cannot dwell?
The domes are in the mountains, the divers ride the bell.
Build while strength is left for building, build while time is left to build
Built atop the sunken city, build atop the land you filled.
Cities are everywhere rising, a fable instructive for anthills
Builders by summer and winter in sunshine or darkness our light fills.
See by the shores of the desert how cities are built by a gesture,
 Cities of pliable steel, cities that open like eyes,
Pillarless cities that spill out shaken like billowing carpets
 Sudden as breaker or dune, clouds of an overturned sky.
Too many cities have slow-grown only to perish in torment
Overturned cities, their names told counting the promise of judgment.
Cast up cities thin as cloth or canvas, anchored for the day
Sheathe your towers under glass as sails to set you underway.
No city wakes in silence when city never sleeps;
No harvest fails the city where city never reaps.
Who builds anew and never looks behind
Keeps safe from all that’s out of sight and mind.
To find the way we build it first.
The water follows on our thirst.
We build to trap the day;
The night we wall away.
Build stronger and taller
Build nearer and smaller.
Only build.