Posted by: John Looker | 31 July, 2022

Admiral Zheng He at the Edge of the Known World

My poem this week celebrates a legendary traveller from China’s imperial past. But it also reflects on that moment in any journey when we realise it is time to turn home:

Admiral Zheng He at the Edge of the Known World

This is taken from Part III of my book Shimmering Horizons.

There are more extracts on a dedicated page of this blog: one poem from each of the seven parts of the book.

Shimmering Horizons was published in 2022 by Bennison Books and is available through Amazon at minimal price. In Britain it may be borrowed through public libraries from the National Poetry Library.



  1. One of the reasons I enjoy your poetry is the way you write about epic historical trips so personally and sympathetically

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Laura. I’m really pleased to hear that – thank you for your kind comment.


  2. This is a story I’ve never encountered before. Nicely written poem about a truly complex and uncomfortable history.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading it Brian, and thanks for commenting. The story inevitably suggests parallels with the rise of Chinese naval ambitions today, doesn’t it. A complex and uncomfortable history as you say. That wasn’t in my mind when I first researched and drafted the poem however – a few years ago now. All the best, J.


  3. You have a brutal reckoning of ancient times ..

    Liked by 1 person

    • I suppose I do Pete. And many parallels with our own times too. But fundamentally I’m an optimist about the human heart – your own short novel about the boy and his grandfather speaks volumes for me.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: