In this Issue - Poetry

 

My father recounts memories of swollen blossoms

hardening into surface, secret core, hills laced with

gold, assuring amber aroma feeding on the sun....

 

 
 
It is Nature’s charcoal sketch of a bird.
Although it sports no colourful plumage,
has a raucous cry, dines on garbage and makes
a picnic out of a roadside carcass, the bold
intelligent, clever crow is worthy of great respect
for having flourished despite human efforts...

 

 

Slim, compact, slightly curved, carved
from the tapering end of a mammoth’s tusk –
a female reindeer decorated with incised lines,
the male with an imposing set of antlers
folded along the length of his back....

 

 
 
 
On another day in Macau the poet was nearing A-Ma Temple.
Actually, he was stopped outside a Macanese restaurant,
was contemplating the menu, wondering if he had ample
time for lunch. One of the approaching passers-by can’t
be Weinberger of Manhattan. . . ? There’d been a poetry festival
in Hong Kong. Indeed, beside him: Gary Snyder, Bei Dao!

 

 

there they blow
words as fountains
a chalk mountain
blown to pieces
night’s blackboard
stunned, speechless
like my language...

 

 

This twin cinema poem (which can be read either as two discrete columns vertically, or one unified column horizontally and then vertically) recalls the discovery of the Rafflesia flower by Sir Stamford Raffles and Joseph Arnold in Sumatra. Only the former’s name is remembered now.